Number of the Day

Zero: The percentage of support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among African-American potential voters, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
"The numbers came from a statistically significant sample of more than 100 African-American voters out of 1,000 total voters in the poll," NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray told Lean Forward. "Given the sample size of these African-American respondents, the margin of error is well within the 95 percent-5 percent split with which Obama won this group in 2008. "

In other words, none of the roughly 110 black respondents to this poll said they would support Romney. The poll should not be taken to mean that Romney has no African American supporters at all. However, at the very most, he has far fewer than Obama.
Two things:

1. As this has come up in comments before, that is not an unusually small sample size for national polling. The size of the poll beyond a minimum threshold matters less than the diversity of the poll. Meaning: If the poll did not reach a reasonable cross-section of potential voters, that would be problematic even if 100,000 people were polled. And, weirdly, it's often easier to get random diversity in a small-scale poll than a large-scale one.

2. It may be tempting for white progressives to laugh at the fact that Romney is polling at 0% among a significant US demographic, but, for real, that shit isn't funny. It's tragic. The Republican Party has made disenfranchising African-American voters, failing to serve African-American communities via their garbage policies, and using race and class (the latter inextricably tied to the former in the US) as a wedge issue to win elections, for decades.

That virtually all African-Americans feel, and rightly so, that voting Republican is not remotely an option for them means that, in a country already gridlocked and polarized and totally fucked by an entrenched two-party system that increasingly benefits no one but the One Percent and Big Business, African-Americans aren't even left with the shitty choice between two shitty parties, but the option to vote for the one party that is slightly less shitty or not voting at all.

Which, you know, is a similar position to that in which I find myself every election, based on the two parties' respective positions on reproductive rights. And I don't find that amusing.

I can't think of a more terrible result for people who had to fight for their right to vote than to be given no meaningful choice.

That we cannot exercise that hard-won right in ways that truly affirm our lives exposes the US democracy for the farce it really is.

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