Along the same lines as the BuzzFeed confection on the united “Clintonite” critique of Obama as too negative and partisan, there’s a shrieking headline at Business Insider: “Obama Is Doing Stunningly Bad Among African-Americans in North Carolina.” The lede for the article by Brett LoGiurato is equally stark:

President Barack Obama is rapidly losing support among African-American voters in North Carolina, a new poll out today from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling shows.

These numbers are compared with Obama’s 2008 performance among black voters in the Tar Heel State, and with PPP’s own May numbers, to suggests a real, sudden cataclysm.

Only then do we get this quote from PPP:

Jim Williams, a polling analyst at PPP, said it could be “statistical noise” that comes with a small sample (only about 200 African-Americans were surveyed). But he said it was not something the agency has “ever seen before.”

That’s the understatement of the year.

Why report what is very, very likely an outlier with all the blaring headlines? Why not wait for a single confirmation that Obama is losing significant support from black voters (who according to Gallup currently give the president an 82% positive job rating) anywhere? I think we know why.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.