According to a KING-5/SurveyUSA poll, Washington state bucked the national trend, with a majority of viewers here saying that John McCain won last night’s debate.
Okay. I guess that’s possible. I’m often told that Seattle is different from every other place in the world, so why shouldn’t Washington state be different from the rest of the nation? But here’s the part that jumped out at me:
Immediately following tonight’s debate between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, SurveyUSA interviewed 1,000 state of Washington adults, of whom 631 watched tonight’s debate.
Really? Over 63% of Washington adults watched last night’s debate? That figure seems awfully high, especially considering that according to the overnight Neilsen ratings, only 30% of Seattle-Tacoma TVs were tuned in to the event. (39% in the Portland market.) The final data won’t be released until Monday, but if the trends from the 55 top markets hold true, then about 57 million Americans watched last night’s debate.
Let’s for the sake of argument assume that all 57 million viewers were adults, 18 or older (although I know for a fact that at least one was an 11-year-old girl), and that adults comprise about 75% of the roughly 305 million people who now populate our nation. That would mean that only about 25% of American adults (57/(305*.75)) watched last night’s debate.
Not 63%. I know we’re different, but not that different. In fact, according to Nielsen, Seattle-Tacoma’s debate ratings were actually on the low end, ranking only 46th out of 55 markets.
So, let’s just say I have some questions about the validity SurveyUSA’s sample.