The pollsters at Public Policy Polling, never shy to include questions with the goal of luring casual observers, on Wednesday tweeted a rather stunning detail from their most recent Georgia survey. Among Republicans in the state, Paula Deen was seen more favorably than Martin Luther King, Jr. And then it got worse.
We asked them for a breakdown of the data included in the survey, particularly so that we could look at how those favorability ratings — the number of people who saw a person favorably or unfavorably — compared. They were kind enough to oblige. So we learned that it wasn't only King and Deen that were asked about. They also asked about Honey Boo Boo. (Previously.)
Using their poll data (which, we must note, had a fairly small sample size), we determined the net approval for all three people. Net approval is the number who have a favorable opinion of the person minus those with an unfavorable opinion. So if 80 percent approve of, say, Santa Claus, and 15 percent disapprove, the net is +65. The higher the number, the more the person is liked.
Below, the graph of net approval. After that, our summary.
So what does this show?
- It isn't just Republicans that see Deen more favorably than King. Any time the blue bar is longer than the red bar pointing to the right, it indicates higher approval for Deen. So Romney voters were about twice as favorable to Deen on net. And, by slim margins, so were white people and those over 65 years of age. Granted, there's generally decent overlap between those groups and Republican voters.
- Everyone has a negative opinion of Honey Boo Boo. Which is actually kind of messed up, since she's a kid. Those with the least negative opinion were Democrats and people under 30.
- Women preferred King over Deen far more than men. Make of that what you will.
- Public Policy Polling is good at getting press attention. This is the most obvious lesson of all.