Demographics don’t accurately represent “diverse” NC in touted #MoralMonday poll

Raleigh-area media
Factchecking our Raleigh-area media. Again.

Raleigh news channel WRAL continues in its quest to “prove” that most participants in the left wing “Moral Mondays” protests are from North Carolina. This is a probability no one disputes but WRAL and other Raleigh-area media outlets continue to construct a false narrative (and then argue against it) about what the state GOP and its allies are saying about the protesters.    Reporter Mark Binker writes: (bolded emphasis added by me):

Raleigh, N.C. — A team of researchers say a survey of the crowd at Monday night’s “Moral Monday” protest shows that at least 311 of 317 of those surveyed are from North Carolina.


During the past two weeks, lawmakers and other high-profile Republicans, including state party Chairman Claude Pope, have dismissed the protesters as “outsiders.” That line has been refined in recent days to say that there are “outside influences” on the protests. In fact, groups such as the Washington, D.C.-based Advancement Project have helped provide organization and media outreach for protesters.

But Fred Stutzman, a Chapel Hill-based researcher who owns Eighty Percent Solutions, said he wanted to explore the question of whether the protests were an outsider movement or not. Stutzman acknowledged he was a participant in prior Moral Monday protests.

That this “team of researchers” was lead by a “participant in prior Moral Monday protests” tells you all you need to know about the political affiliations of both them and their boss. Hint: They’re liberals (his Twitter feed is a strong indicator of that).   I’m impressed that Binker included the information about Stutzman’s support of prior Moral Monday protests but all the same it’s fascinating that data from someone who is clearly biased on the subject is accepted by a mainstream media news outlet without question – especially when you consider the laughable way WRAL tried to come up with the demographics of the protesters the last time around … by using arrest records.

Nevertheless, even though the chief researcher here has a left wing bias, and 317 is a far cry from the “over 1000” we’ve been told have been at each of the last couple of protests, and though not one GOP politico has alleged that the rallies are “packed” with outsiders, I’m  more than happy to play the demographics game on WRAL’s and Stutzman’s terms.  But first, let’s examine the Raleigh News and Observer’s coverage of the same study (bolded emphasis added by me):

Since Gov. Pat McCrory described the demonstrators as “outsiders” [again, not true  –ST] to Republicans gathered earlier this month at a Charlotte convention, participants of the Moral Monday protests have worked to let the GOP leaders know that their mass protests are homegrown.

Get ready for the hilarity to ensue:

Reflects state population

Fred Stutzman, one of the eight UNC-CH data collectors, did a sampling of the crowd asking 316 people their ZIP codes, race and age. Their findings showed that five of the respondents were from out-of-state and 311 were from North Carolina, overwhelmingly from the Triangle area but also from such metropolitan regions as Wilmington, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville and Charlotte.

The average age of the protesters, according to the UNC researchers, was 53, with 25 percent under age 36. Sixty percent were female, and the racial breakdown largely matched the 2010 Census findings – 79 percent were white, 17 percent African-American, 6 percent Hispanic and the rest were Asian, Pacific Islander, Indian or other.

The Rev. William Barber, the head of the state NAACP, which has organized the weekly events, described the crowd as a diverse representation of the state.

First, the N&O (shockingly!) doesn’t mention that Stutzman has been a participant in Moral Monday protests, which would bring into question for readers as to whether or not his bias influenced his findings.   Secondly, and very importantly, the fact that most were “from the Triangle area” is key (the map tells the tale) , because you don’t get a “diversity” of North Carolina residents if most of your participants are Raleigh-area liberals – no matter their age, sex, race, whatever.    Third, Stutzman compared his findings to demographic data for NC using the 2011 ACS, not the 2010 Census, and looking at the 2011 ACS figures we see that whites are overrepresented at the protests (70% ACS vs 79% at MM), black people are underrepresented (almost 22% ACS vs 17% at MM), as are Hispanics (almost 9% ACS vs 2% at MM).  Women are overrepresented (51% ACS vs 60% at MM) while men are underrepresented (48% ACS vs 40% at MM).

So, no, these findings do not mesh with the most current NC demographic data we  have, especially when you consider where the vast majority of those surveyed were from.  Stutzman himself did not even have his  questioners ask the protest attendees what their political affiliations were … probably because he didn’t have to.  The Triangle area and what surrounds even that are havens for liberal college goers and their even more left wing professors, as well as moderate to liberal transplants that come to live in the big cities in the South to get away from the high costs of living in cities up north and out west.  So to assume most protesters are liberals is a no-brainer.

So, um, “breaking news” – or not so breaking: Playing by the left’s rules on Moral Mondays, the “overwhelming majority” of protesters are from the Democrat hotbed known as the “Triangle” area.  If any conservatives are present at these rallies, it’s a very, very tiny minority – not even worth mentioning, which, coupled with the ACS stats mentioned earlier, calls into question as to just how truly “diverse” these protests actually are.  But one thing is crystal clear: no matter the number of “outsiders” in attendance, no matter the race, sex, or age, the number of “insiders” are exactly the type of people you’d expect to protest our GOP controlled state legislature and Governor, anyway: diehard liberals in academia.  What’s “diverse” about that?

Raleigh-area news outlets won’t clue you in on any of this, but I certainly don’t mind telling you.  Just the facts, please.

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