FOX News Channel host and radio host Bill O'Reilly attempted to explain a Washington Post poll, which he said showed less support for President George W. Bush among African-Americans than two other polls, by noting that the poll is "coming out of a very heavily black district where there is an enormous amount of poverty in Washington."
The Post's polls are conducted by the private polling firm TNS of Horsham, Pennsylvania. The firm telephones Americans across the country, according to an October 20 article explaining the methodology of its recent poll.
From the October 19 broadcast of the nationally syndicated The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly:
O'REILLY: In the New York Times/CBS News poll just out. Whites: 52 percent for Bush, 40 percent for Kerry. Huge gap. Blacks: 17 percent for Bush, 76 percent for Kerry. Now remember, for Gore it was 90/10. So Bush is doing a little bit better.
But still, 76/17? I mean, that's, that's a whopper. FOX News has it 53 percent white Americans for Bush, 39 percent for Kerry. 11 percent black, 74 for Bush -- 74 for Kerry. Washington Post has it 56/41 whites, 8/89 blacks. Now The Washington Post is, remember that's -- I mean, it's a national sample, but it's coming out of a very heavily black district where there is an enormous amount of poverty in Washington.
Media Matters for America was unable to confirm that the data on the race of the respondents is available for the most recent versions of the three polls O'Reilly cited (New York Times/CBS, FOX News/Opinion Dynamics, and Washington Post). According to a column by Rick Badie in the October 21 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the most recent Washington Post poll, conducted October 18-20, found that 11 percent of African Americans favored Bush-Cheney and 85 percent preferred Kerry-Edwards. Regardless, The Washington Post poll was not a local poll; rather, as O'Reilly noted, the poll surveyed "a national sample."