RNC officials stress that they’re investing in a long-term strategy and that the results won’t always be immediately visible, but they do have one favorite statistic they like to pass along to reporters: From January 2013 to January 2014, the Republican Party’s favorability among black voters increased from 12% to 16%, according to a Wall Street Journal–NBC poll.Talk about cherry-picking! But as far as cherry-picking is concerned, it's not even good cherry picking.
Here's the January 2014 poll. I don't see any crosstabs on Republican Party favorability and the African-American vote, but I assume they somehow got the raw data and crunched the numbers themselves.
In that poll, 12 percent of respondents were black, or 96 of the 800 surveyed. Want to know the margin of error for that crosstab? 10 percent.
Yup. TEN percent. In other words, it renders the numbers essentially moot, and that four-point "improvement" is well within the poll's margin of error.
What's more, here are the Republican Party's favorabilities:
Very Positive: 6
Somewhat Positive: 20
Very Positive: 5
Somewhat Positive: 19
It's a zero-sum game: If the GOP is gaining among the 12 percent African-American population, and yet it is losing ground among all Americans, then it is becoming even more unpopular elsewhere. And given their popularity numbers are already rock-bottom among Latinos and Asians, that only leaves whites.
So are Republicans arguing that they have become less popular among whites in the past year? I'll let their unskewers try and figure that one out.