Thursday, August 21, 2008

Playing field level at 81° of inclination

An interesting précis of a Reuters-Zogby poll at the Telegraph today (my emphasis):

A Reuters-Zogby poll released on Wednesday found the Republican senator leading Barack Obama among likely voters by 46 to 41 per cent, sweeping away a seven-point advantage the Illinois senator held in the same survey a month ago.

At the same time, a Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg poll that gave Mr Obama a 12-point lead in June found that the two candidates were statistically tied. Race continues to be a significant factor with nine per cent of voters saying they would feel uncomfortable voting for a black candidate.

Well, yes, 9% is a significant number. No question. But what is more significant--I would've thought--is that according to the same poll, more than 90% of black voters in the USA support Barack Obama. Ninety percent! The Telegraph piece for some reason doesn't mention this.

So let me get this straight: it is newsworthy that 9% of the American voting public are uncomfortable voting for a black candidate, but not at all that 90% of black voters (that's all America's black voters by the way, not just the partisans) don't want to go with the white candidate? We deduce that "race continues to be a significant factor" in the former case, but not the latter? We deduce this, moreover, in the face of notably declining support for Mr. Obama right across the demographic board--except for this uniquely interested section of the country's population?

... But that's insane!