Michelle Obama: Another incompetent poll from the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation

Moche Leo Attu – Much to be expected, the journ-0-lisps over at the Washington Post report on a Kaiser-WaPo poll on how Michelle Obama is viewed by women (and men) black and white.  One of the most interesting paragraphs in their misunderstanding of their own poll results is:

About four in 10 black women say their overall impression of black women has improved because of Obama, compared with fewer than one in seven white women. Some black women who said Obama had changed their view described her as being an alternative to racial stereotypes that regularly reach American homes through reality TV and other pop-culture programming. In the Post-Kaiser survey, which included interviews with more than 800 black women, more than half of black women without a college education say Obama has changed their overall impression of black women, compared with two out of 10 black women with college degrees.

The key word here is “improved.”  If you look at the table of survey results in the hard copy of the Post, which none of the on-line links connect to as far as I can tell, you find out that the actual question was “Has having Michelle Obama as the country’s first African American first lady changed your overall impression of black women in America?”  It’s easy to imagine that of the 41% of black women who answer that question Yes, at least 1% (and maybe 4 or 5%) think Michelle Obama has changed the country’s impression of black women for the worse, and of the 15% of white women who said Yes, 5% or more don’t think “improved” when they read change.

Aside from that, the pollsters only gave the respondents three options:  Yes (she changed my opinion), No (she didn’t), or No opinion.  Since the poll question doesn’t actually ask whether she changed the respondents opinion for better or worse, even if we interpret change to mean improve as the Post does and assume all the Yes respondents think the change was for the better, we don’t know how many people who say No she did not change their opinion are actually saying No she didn’t improve my opinion because she made it worse (and we don’t know if the Kasier pollsters on the phone were as imprecise as the Post is in confusing change and improve when they asked the question.)

The rest of the article is shot through with stupidity, assuming most non-black Americans (in their survey there seem to only be black and white people) get their “negative” impressions of blacks or black women from TV and never had a “positive” image of black women before Michelle Obama.  This contradicts other parts of the poll itself, that reveal that lots of blacks and whites have dated the other race, work with them, etc.  Whatever impressions, negative and positive, any of these groups have of black women, there is no reason to think they are based on their TV viewing rather than their daily interactions with people at work, on the street, and in their neighborhoods.

                                 Black women    White women     Black men          White men

How many of your close friends are a different race than you — all of them, most of them, some of them, hardly any of them, or none of them? 5%All of them

5% 1% 11% 3%
19Most of them

23 16 25 13
56Some of them

48 60 48 62
14Hardly any of them

12 17 10 18
5None of them

12 6 6 3
0One of them

0 0 0 0
2Don’t know/Refuse

0 0 1 1
Have you ever dated someone of a different race, or not? 52%Yes, has

50% 40% 68% 51%
48No, has not

50 60 31 49
0Don’t know/Refuse

0 0 0 0
Would you be willing to marry someone of another race, or not? 75%Yes, willing

67% 62% 80% 82%
21No, not willing

27 30 11 16
5Don’t know/Refuse

6 7 9 2

You can read the moronicity for yourself at:

African American women see their own challenges mirrored in Michelle Obama’s

As black women watch Michelle Obama on the national stage, they search — sometimes nervously — for nuances often lost on the larger culture. How she handles criticism, how she raises her children, even her style of dress, has the potential to counter negative stereotypes.
“She is mainstreaming to the world what a lot of us already know about ourselves,” says Dacenta Grice, a 37-year-old black woman who works as a physician assistant in Atlanta. “She reinforces the reality that so many of us live. She is a black woman who just seems fantastic in her own right, who just seems like every day people and is relatable.”
Very positive reactions to Michelle Obama as first lady.

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Very positive reactions to Michelle Obama as first lady.
Michelle Obama is seen very favorably among black women, according to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation. The Washington Post's Krissah Thompson talks about the first lady's uneasy path to popularity, and how it may help her husband's re-election campaign. (Jan. 23)
Michelle Obama is seen very favorably among black women, according to a new poll conducted by the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation. The Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson talks about the first lady’s uneasy path to popularity, and how it may help her husband’s re-election campaign. (Jan. 23)
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In a nationwide survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, black women described themselves as relating to Michelle Obama and sensing that she understands them. Nearly eight out of 10 black women say they personally identify with the first lady, and when asked to give a one-word description of Obama, among the words most commonly used were “intelligent,” “strong” and “classy.”
In follow-up interviews, black women say the first lady’s racial and gender identity are essential to the deep connection they feel they have to her. They call her a role model, someone familiar to them — like a sister or aunt.
That emotional stake makes watching Obama navigate the world stage both “thrilling and terrifying,” says Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor of political science at Tulane University who has written aboutthe first lady’s impact on black women.
“Every time she flawlessly performs her role as first lady just by being who she is, she shows how extraordinary and exceptional we are,” says Harris-Perry, who is in her late 30s. “It is really fun to watch. It feels like, yes! Oh, this can never be denied.
“But every time she is booed at a NASCAR rally, the terrifying reality emerges that it will take so little for the love and admiration of Michelle Obama to go away. Anything she does that is construed as negative or stereotype-reinforcing will undoubtedly be held against us.”
In fact, the positive views of Michelle Obama cut across racial lines — with three-fourths of white women and two-thirds of white men saying they have a favorable impression of her. Other sharp contrasts do emerge in the Post-Kaiser poll between black and white women’s opinions of the first lady. Nearly nine in 10 black women say that the first lady understands their problems, compared with about half of white women. And nearly nine in 10 black women say she shares their values, compared with about six in 10 white women.
The importance black women place on the first lady’s racial identity is not universally shared, and some whites described her race as irrelevant.
“If I do consider her race — which I don’t do, to be quite honest — it’s really not a factor,” says Tracy Lynch, 42, a white freelance writer who longs to sit in her backyard and have a glass of wine with Obama as their kids frolic on the playground. “If I do consider her race, it’s more that I say, ‘Thank God my kids are a part of this history.’ ”

About BruceMajors

freelance writer at Daily Caller, The Hill, reason, Breitbart
This entry was posted in African Americans, Kaiser Family Foundation, Michelle Obama, Washington Post. Bookmark the permalink.

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