Saturday, September 20, 2008

Polling the divide

The AP asks why Obama is in a tight race with McCain when so many indicators suggest Democrats should be doing better (the economy, the unpopularity of Bush, etc.), and provocatively polls white voters. I don't like their poll at all because the questions (Would you describe blacks as "friendly"?) are applied to races as a whole. It's like saying, would you describe water as cold? Some water is cold and some is hot. Some blacks are friendly and some are not. Some Asians are good at math and some are not. Some criminals are cheating lying @$$es and some are not.

The problem is, at least some respondents of the poll felt that the form of the poll was acceptable and so we have the results in the graph.

My apologies, is not very kind to my images and I'm too lazy to figure it out. But the story is here with a bigger version of the image. The AP writer then concludes that the reason Obama is in such a tight race is because some white democrats and independents still harbor misgivings about voting for someone because they are black - white Republicans are overwhelmingly not likely to vote for a Democrat whether they are white or any other color - and describes the difference as resulting in as much as a 6-point spread in voter polls.