Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Hard Data from the NYT via Al Giordano

Al Giordano highlights an NYT article by Charles Blow:

I turn on the TV, read the political columnists (and a significant number of analytically-challenged bloggers, too) and all I hear is a bunch of white folk prattling on about their favorite narrative: “Obama’s losing white voters!”

They’ve swallowed the Clinton racially-obsessed spin, hook, line and sinker. [...]

So imagine my pleasant surprise this morning to see a New York Times columnist, Charles Blow, who did what none of these chattering lunkheads have done. He looked at the hard data of how voters, white and black, view the two Democratic candidates - favorably or negatively? - and how those views have progressed over time. The data is based on multiple CBS-New York Times polls (among the most respected survey outfits among competing pollsters) over two years and more. Check it out:

nyt-dems-obama-clinton
Click on image for larger picture

Nobody - not blogger, nor superdelegate, nor cable news anchor - should open their mouths with another word about this contest until they’ve studied those graphs and the numbers upon which they are based. Blow explains:

Since January, the Clintons have pummeled Barack Obama with racially tinged comments and questions about his character…

The question is this: Have white Democrats soured on Obama? Apparently not. Although his unfavorable rating from the group is up five percentage points since last summer in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News, his favorable rating is up just as much.

Wait. The numbers show that the cynical effort to turn the 2008 campaign into a race riot has hurt the popularity of one candidate among an important demographic, and it’s not Barack Obama:

On the other hand, black Democrats’ opinion of Hillary Clinton has deteriorated substantially (her favorable rating among them is down 36 percentage points over the same period).

So, to sum up: Look at the damn graphs. You can see that Clinton is in a staggering free-fall among African-American voters, her favorability is down 36 points while 17 percent view her more negatively than before, while Obama’s favorable and negative ratings among whites have paired at five point increases. You can even see the small dip - about two percentage points - in his popularity among whites that can be attributed to the news cycles about his ex-pastor, and see that it has leveled out and is now on a straight horizontal line (meanwhile, Clinton’s numbers among blacks continue on an extreme downward precipice). The greater context is that even including Obama’s slight dip, he’s more popular today among white voters than he ever was prior to February.

Not since Ronald Reagan has an American presidential candidate withstood such an assault in the media and seen his popularity not hurt by it, but, rather, galvanized by it. That’s what is meant, in politics, by the term “Teflon.”

Those facts won’t stop many media (and Internet) talking heads from continuing - whether out of gullibility or intentional dishonesty - to prop up the “white voters” narrative, but it ought to inoculate you, kind reader, from believing it.

So the next time you're tempted to give some consideration to the talking heads on CNN, MSBNC or wherever you get your news, do keep this bit of hard data in mind.

1 Comments:

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Mutaman said...

Then why does he get less white votes now than he did in February?

What a bunch of morons. You can't make this stuff up.

 

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