The WRAL poll that said only 87 per cent of African American voters supported President Obama was as silly as the stories in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, PBS News Hour and NPR, among others, that asserted that black voters in North Carolina were deserting the president over the marriage equality issue. James Protzman was mistaken, too, that the Times story cut to the heart of the election in North Carolina. All of these narratives were rooted merely in what the authors "knew" that they knew without actually doing real research; the poll, of course, did involve research--really badly flawed research. I will never even bother to read another WRAL poll.
The real story
Shrewd politicos in North Carolina knew certain things. For example, African American registration was much higher than in 2008. It certainly looked like turnout would be up, too, and it was. Early voting quickly made it clear that this would be the case; as I called around to check with friends about how things were going, everyone noted the long lines at early voting sites, lines that were sometimes nearly all-black and nearly always heavily black. To go to such places and walk up the line saying hello to people was to realize that none of these people were standing in line to vote for Mitt Romney.
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