Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis has an instructive post on poll interpretation. Sher discusses three new polls that have Obama ahead by 9, 8 and 6 points. Contrary to MSM spin that he should be “doing better,” however, Sher argues that “a final victory with that margin would be earth-shifting.” Of today’s New York Times article ,”Poll Finds Obama Candidacy Isn’t Closing Divide on Race,” Sher says the headline:
…makes it sound like massive numbers of whites have an unfavorable opinion of Obama.
The complete poll data shows that 1) 31% said they are “undecided” or “haven’t heard enough,” and 2) McCain doesn’t do much better, only scoring a 35% favorable rating from whites, with a similar number also not expressing an opinion.
The article also notes that McCain leads Obama among whites 46%-37%, a 9-point margin. (The other two polls today have McCain up 8 and 7 points among whites.)
But it doesn’t tell you that in 2004, President Bush beat Sen. John Kerry among whites by 17 points.
Obama runs at least 8 points better among whites than Kerry, not to mention performing vastly better among Latino voters (39 point lead) than Kerry (9 points).
An equal opportunity debunker, Scher has this to say about WaPo‘s article on its poll, noting
…this line buried at the bottom of the Washington Post analysis of its poll: “The candidates are tied among whites who earn less than $50,000 a year, while McCain leads by 10 percentage points among those earning more than that.”
Yes, Obama runs better among white working-class voters than other whites.
Not a half-bad step forward for race relations, in my book.
Amazing what a little clear thinking can do.