FOX News Chart Fails Math

Latest poll results don't add up

When you give something your all, you give it 100 percent. Unless you work for My FOX Chicago – then you give it 193 percent.

During a Friday broadcast, Fox News' local Chicago affiliate reported on the results of a recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll. Anchor Byron Harlan said that Sarah Palin currently has the most support for a 2012 presidential nomination among Republican candidates.

"When it comes to landing the nomination, Palin is at 70 percent, about a third higher than this past July," said Harlan. "Mike Huckabee stands at 63 percent. Mitt Romney's 60."

FOX's Skewed Numbers

But rather than use an appropriate bar chart, the accompanying graphic displayed a pie chart. Mathematically, pie charts have to total 100 percent.

FOX's pie figures add up to 193 percent.

We know math is difficult, but come on.

To make matters worse, the opinion poll never actually asked respondents whom they supported as a presidential candidate.

According to their own published results (PDF link), telephone pollsters asked 900 registered voters if they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of a list of names. The numbers Harlan reported are the "favorable" ratings among voters who identified themselves as Republican (approximately 324 voters).

Interestingly enough, 41 percent of all voters had a favorable opinion of Sarah Palin, but Oprah Winfrey clinched a higher rating of 61 percent. Split along party lines, Winfrey's favorability was 80 percent among Democrats and 46 percent among Republicans.

And according to FOX's study, one percent of polled Republicans have "never heard" of Oprah Winfrey. Who in America hasn't heard of the Media Queen?

Probably the same people who don't know that pie charts add up to 100 percent.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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