Saturday, August 8, 2015

Why Even Bother?

I love polls. I teach a graduate seminar every year in public opinion. But how some polls are presented or reported makes me nuts. Here's one set of crosstabs of an August 6 Landmark/RosettaStone poll of 600 Georgia Republican voters. The news angle is obvious -- over a third favor Donald Trump, while Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are the only others in double figures. But look across to the race breakdown. Fifty-seven percent of blacks favor Trump. You'd think, holy cow. That's amazing. Look harder. Apparently this survey could only find seven -- yes, seven -- black Republicans. So 57.1 percent of 7 means that four (yes, 4) black Republicans favored Trump.

Sigh. Just collapse racial breakdowns when they're so meaningless, though I admit there's a certain entertainment factor that a survey can only find so few black Republicans.

Here's a story on the poll itself.

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