CNN's "National" Debate Poll Surveys Over-49 White Southerners
[image, below: relevant data section from CNN/ORU International poll of respondents to questions concerning the first Barack Obama/Mitt Romney national debate. For another perspective on this subject, see this Alternet story by Alex Kane]
As a story from CNN, titled "CNN Poll: Most watchers say Romney debate winner" breathlessly announced,
"Two-thirds of people who watched the first presidential debate think that Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the showdown, according to a nationwide poll conducted Wednesday night."
But the only Americans polled in statistically significant numbers, according to the CNN-commissioned survey, were white Southerners, over the age of 49, who were registered to vote and who had college educations.
Thus, CNN's claim that its poll demographic represents America is misleading to the point of absurdity, and violates all reasonable truth-in-advertising conventions.
The survey (link to PDF of survey), conducted for CNN by ORC International, a polling company, solicited the opinions of 430 adult respondents, whose political party affiliations were roughly representative of the national average, with 33% of respondents identifying as Republicans, 37% as Democrats, and 29% as Independents.
But the regional and ethnic makeup of respondents was skewed almost to the point of statistical impossibility.
The ORC International study states that no statistically significant numbers of respondents were polled from the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, or West. The ORC survey polled only statistically significant numbers of respondents from the U.S. South.
The ethnic makeup of respondents was equally striking; the ORC survey polled no statistically significant numbers of respondents who belonged to non-white minority groups. The aggregate of these strange polling anomalies is odder still:
The only group of Americans polled in statistically significant numbers, according to the CNN/ORC Intenational survey, were white southerners, 49 years of age and older, who had college educations. According to the survey, over two thirds of respondents from that wildly unrepresentative demographic group thought that Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in the first national presidential debate.
[hat tip to thepeoplesview.net, for Oh, Great! CNN's "Debate Polling" Only Tracks Old White Southerners, for highlighting the statistically bizarre nature of the CNN/ORC International Survey.]