Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bias in reporting Jewish/Israeli view of Obama

Lisa Goldman has a good post that comes to me via Deborah Lipstadt:
Meanwhile, 65 percent of Israelis who visited a site called If the World Could Vote (for the president of the United States) chose Obama; and on a similar site called The World For, 82 percent of Israelis clicked on Obama.

Amongst Jewish Americans 78 percent, including New York Times columnist Frank Rich, voted for Obama.

And yet, the international media come to the conclusion that, as the IHT put it, “if Israel were on a US map, it would be bright red.”

Look, here’s the Associated Press reporting that Israelis were totally into McCain, by a margin of three-to-one. The LA Times’s correspondent in Israel, Ashraf Khalil, reports the same story on his blog for the newspaper’s website: apparently 76 percent of absentee American voters polled in Israel said they would vote for McCain, and most Israelis were barely controlling their panic at the prospect of an Obama presidency.

So, let me get this straight: 78 percent of Jewish Americans voted for Obama; somewhere between 65 and 82 percent of Israelis who participated in two online polls indicated their preference for Obama; and the Israeli media was practically holding a party for the Democratic candidate on election day. And yet, a sizeable proportion of the international media is reporting that Israelis prefer McCain to Obama by a margin of three-to-one. Doesn’t anyone think this discrepancy a bit odd?


David Schraub said...

Using Israeli absentee ballots is a bogus measure (selection bias, anyone?), but so is using online polls to establish anything (um, selection bias, anyone?).

Matt said...

You know, David, I'd be happy if most people could accept that multiple biases can coexist.

But it's my impression that the widely reported news/polls - indicating Jews worldwide or just Jews in Florida are for McCain - have been hideously wrong.