Sunday, March 23, 2008

InsiderAdvantage’s outstanding poll report

Yesterday, when I reported on InsiderAdvantage’s poll findings and report of reaction to Sen. Barack Obama’s speech in Philadelphia Tuesday ( Obama's speech: some interesting poll results ), I said I’d say some more about the quality of InsiderAdvantage's report.

Compared to most polling results reports, InsiderAdvantage’s report is outstanding for its explanation of how it gathered data and its thoughtful, dare I say nuanced, discussion of its results.

Here are portions of the report, followed by my comments below the star line.

… It’s easy to read too much into this poll. In the long-term, Obama’s speech about the racially insensitive political and social views of Rev. Wright may come to its final resting place in history books for being a signal moment in America’s tortured story of race relations. But in the short-attention-span theatre of a heated presidential race, it may amount to little more than a loud blip in an ever-fluxing news cycle.

Even so, the poll displays no numbers flattering to Obama. Most startling is that blacks by 56% to 31% said the speech made them less likely to vote for him.

That may be because Obama had some gutsy perspectives on blacks as well as on whites, and black observers of the speech may have been annoyed. But it’s hard to imagine that there’s going to be an appreciable retreat by blacks from the Obama column.

Democrats disapproved 48% to 28%, which looks sobering for Obama on first glance, but might portend otherwise. If blacks irritated by Obama’s remarks will return to the fold, than impressing whites is probably a more vital read on the numbers. And Democratic whites were more sympathetic with the speech’s message than black ones.

The disturbing numbers for Obama are the independent voters. By 56% to 13%, they said they’re less likely to vote for him because of the speech. …

“Doubtless many formed their opinions not on the speech itself, but on reports of it filtered through their favorite news media outlets. So intended or unintended biases of media may have trickled down to many poll respondents, [said Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage.]

“It’s important to note, however, that we carefully crafted the poll’s questions,” [Towery noted]. “We never mentioned the words ‘race’ or ‘controversy,’ or explained what all the fuss was about. Our first question was simply, ‘Are you aware of the situation regarding Sen. Barack Obama’s church pastor and the past public remarks he has made?’"

“So there was a deliberate effort not to ‘push poll’ respondents, or to influence their answers in any way,” Towery said. “Also note that only one out of 50 poll respondents had no opinion.”

The results of the poll, while not reassuring to Obama, can be probably be overcome as other events unfold. Already the news cycle is turning to the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion. …

The full InsiderAdvantage report is here.


The quality of the InsiderAdvantage report is so outstanding any added “highlighting” by me would be bumptious.

So I’ll just use one part of the report as a “launch pad” for something important about a lot of the MSM coverage of reaction to Obama’s speech.

As noted, InsiderAdvantage found Independents by an overwhelming margin said they were less likely to vote for Obama as a result of the speech. Other polls have found the same thing.

But most MSM reports I've read and heard don’t mention Independents' reactions to the speech.

The latest example of that is the liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer’s front-page story today:

Is this speech a turning point?

Blunt talk on race may bring culture shift -- if we let it
The N&O's almost 1200-word story, under reporter Matt Ehlers’ byline, reports reaction to the speech only in terms of liberals vs. conservatives.
… Liberal commentators piled praise on the speech, with some comparing it to the eloquence of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Many conservatives panned it as a political maneuver by Obama to distance himself from the fiery sermons of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

A CBS poll taken two days after Tuesday's speech found that 69 percent of voters who had heard or read about Obama's speech say he did a good job addressing race relations, and 63 percent said they agree with Obama's views on race relations. But the poll also found that only 52 percent of registered voters now think Obama can unite the country, down from 67 percent last month. …
Nowhere in the story are independents even mentioned.

The N&O tells readers its reporting is fair and accurate and free of political bias.

Yes, and the Easter Bunny left the baskets under the beds this morning.

The entire N&O story is here.


Anonymous said...

david graham speaks for obama in today's n&o

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

"Blunt talk on race may bring culture shift ... if we let it."

OK. You guys at the N&O go first.

Start with honest reporting.

Stop apologizing for the inept and ineffective local Durham government and it's racial pandering and patronage.


mac said...
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mac said...
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Anonymous said...

You people are going CRAZY over Obama!

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

"You people." You know, you "typical white people." Just imagine the gigantic outrage machine cranking itself up had a white Republican described an Afro-American as a "typical black person." As Orwell put it, all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. I'm so happy Obama suggested we have a discussion of race, aren't you?
Tarheel Hawkeye