|Oho 1st District Demographic Data (2008)|
Yet the Cincinnati Enquirer massively headlined a poll Sunday that looks to have seriously under counted African American voters in the Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper's own backyard. Its sample of 594 likely voters skewed 16% black. That is a huge divergence from reality in OH-01 -- which is 30% African American. The poll sample was 78% white, again a tilt away from reality on the ground. The newspaper reported Republican Steve Chabot had a 12-point lead over U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus, the Dem elected in 2008. It did not report that a prior poll showed Chabot with a 17-point lead. The Enquirer is supporting Chabot. And some are wondering: Has the GOP bias that is openly practiced on its editorial page tiptoed into its news pages? Driehaus beat Chabot in 2008 and is finishing his first term. Their rematch is the most closely watched contest in SW Ohio. Data in the SurveyUSA election poll tabs show that only 16% of those queried about the Driehaus-Chabot contest were black. SurveyUSA has made the full-text of its most recent Driehaus-Chabot poll available online. SurveyUSA contends black voters are not motivated to turn out this year, thus giving a huge edge to Chabot. The poll was conducted last week.
But there is more to the story. If an earlier SurveyUSA poll is analyzed -- which is something the Cincinnati Enquirer failed to do -- the numbers show Chabot is less popular today than he was before he started running to reclaim OH-01. Ten months ago, a Driehaus-Chabot race went to Chabot with 56% of the vote -- Chabot had a 17-point margin. In that SurveyUSA poll, which was conducted for the left-leaning political blog Firedog Lake, Chabot was a shoo-in. Those results are here. The poll noted the importance of the black vote, and 21% of those surveyed were African American. That is a much higher percentage than were contacted for the Cincinnati Enquirer poll, a poll that was so highly touted by the newspaper. Indeed, the earlier poll placed a prime emphasis on the black vote on OH-01:
"African Americans are estimated to be 21% of likely voters in this model. For every percentage point that black turnout is higher in 2010, the Democrat will outperform these results by approximately 1 percentage point. For every percentage point that black turnout is lower in 2010, the Democrat will under perform these results by approximately 1 percentage point."