May 30, 2014, 12:56 PM EST
There has been poll floating around in the last day, and the results have frequently been repurposed to say “92 percent of Americans hate Donald Sterling.”
That’s almost certainly untrue.
The company said that, out of the people who were familiar with the Los Angeles Clippers’ owner, 92 percent said they disliked him.
“Donald Sterling made these callous statements, and then he has more than doubled down on them since then,” said Gerry Philpott, president and CEO of E-Poll, which said it polled 1,100 people between ages 13 and 49 whose demographics were representative of the U.S. population.
I doubt 92 percent of Americans even know who Donald Sterling is, let alone dislike him. Remember, we’re dealing only those who are familiar with – limiting the sample by some unknown, though I believe significant, degree. Though everyone here knows Sterling, a basketball blog is not representative of the country.
The exact wording of the poll question is unclear, but this suggest it used “dislike.” “Dislike” and “hate” are not synonyms. People dislike many more people than they hate.
The poll is also limited to a certain, younger, demographic. I would suspect a smaller percentage of Americans 50 and over – those who grew up when the country had different racial attitudes – dislike Sterling.
Is Donald Sterling hated by a high percentage of Americans? Probably. Just not that may.
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