The Washington Post

NBC News-WSJ poll: Romney is not in the black — literally

Rare is the time that a poll number makes me gasp. But there is one in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll that elicited one. While it was no surprise to see that President Obama snared 94 percent of African Americans surveyed, the presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney got nuthin’, zilch, niente, a big fat 0 percent.

Yes, blacks have long been the base of the Democratic Party. Even more so now that one of their own sits in the Oval Office. But that never meant a Republican wasn’t able to snag at least a few black supporters. President George W. Bush got 11 percent of the black vote in 2004. That was up 2 points from the contested 2000 presidential election. Sen. John McCain didn’t do so well against Obama. Still, he was able to persuade 4 percent of African American voters to cast a ballot for him.

“The numbers came from a statistically significant sample of more than 100 African-American voters out of 1,000 total voters in the poll,” Mark Murray, senior political editor for NBC News, told me via e-mail this morning. “Given the sample size of these African-American respondents, the margin of error is well within the 95%-4% split with which Obama won this group in 2008.” So, there’s a possibility that Romney could eke out some support on Election Day. A possibility of the very slim variety.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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