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Misconception:
“The 90% Native American approval on polls is wrong”

The surveys we quote are the only independent surveys that follow conventional and accurate survey methodology. These professional polls conduct statistical weighting to Census Bureau benchmarks.

 

In 2004 and 2016, identical questions by two different respected polling agencies came to the same conclusion: 90-91% of Native Americans do not believe the Name Redskins is offensive.

 

You can read about their polling methodology including their representation on reservation and off reservation. The polling data science tells us these surveys are within a 5.5% margin of error.

 

The attempt to discredit the polls is weak. The truth of the matter is the opposition doesn’t believe Native Americans are capable of self-determining whether something is offensive or revered. The opposition looks to silence Native opinions.  The Native American Guardian’s Association represents the 90%.

 

The opposition is a vocal minority that do not believe in majority rule and historical facts.

 

They have an open invitation from the Board of the Native American Guardian’s Association to debate the facts, review any scientific poll, or put Native American names and imagery on any ballot or referendum for any tribe.

 

Let rank and file Natives tell us what they think. Over and over 90% support the use of our names and imagery nationwide, on reservation and off reservation.

 

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Survey size objection

 

Q: Can a sample of 500 Native Americans be projected to the entire population?

Surveys of this size can produce accurate estimates of any size population by employing “probability sampling,” where every member of the population has a known and equal chance of being selected. Such surveys are used to measure consumer confidence, the unemployment rate, political attitudes and health. The Post’s survey of 504 Native Americans has a margin of sampling error of 5.5 percentage points, meaning that if the same survey were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would not be expected to differ by more than 5.5 percentage points. (Note: The Annenberg margin of sampling error for was 2%.)  Surveys can have other sources of error and variation which are more difficult to quantify, including measurement error and non-response error and the fact that about 5 percent of Native Americans are unreachable by either cellular or landline phone. Statistical weighting to Census Bureau benchmarks helps correct for some of these issues.”

 

Using the Sample Size Calculator below, to obtain a 5.0% statistical margin of error on a population of 5,000,000, the ideal sample size is 385 individuals:

https://www.qualtrics.com/blog/calculating-sample-size/

 

Statistics and probability are a science. You remember, “follow the science, right?” A whole industry knows what’s statistically accurate and what is not. Below is the link for polling methodology. Once you’re done trying to disprove the science, then maybe you will agree that the Native Americans’ opinion counts.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-the-washington-post-conducted-the-survey-on-the-redskins-name/2016/05/19/98c0a4ae-1b8c-11e6-9c81-4be1c14fb8c8_story.html

 

Full FAQs on Polling:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-the-washington-post-conducted-the-survey-on-the-redskins-name/2016/05/19/98c0a4ae-1b8c-11e6-9c81-4be1c14fb8c8_story.html?tid=a_inl_manual

 

How The Washington Post conducted the survey on the Redskins’ name

 

A new Washington Post survey explores attitudes of Native Americans toward the Washington Redskins team, marking the first national gauge of the group’s views of the issue in more than a decade. The following questions and answers address some of the major issues in surveying Native Americans and how this poll was conducted.

[New poll finds 9 in 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name]

 

Q: Why is it difficult to survey Native Americans?

 

Surveying the Native American population is difficult because of the group’s relatively small size and the fact that many who live on reservations lack landline telephone access. A 2004 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which found 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins name, has been criticized for potentially underrepresenting Indians who live on reservations and are less likely to have landline phones, for not measuring levels of tribal membership and for only asking a single question about attitudes on the issue.

 

The Washington Post survey was designed to overcome challenges in surveying Native Americans by reaching a large portion of the sample through cellular phones. Roughly 95 percent of Native American adults have landline or cellular phone access in their households, and over half are cellphone-only, according to The Post’s analysis of the National Health Interview Survey. Nearly 6 in 10 Native Americans in The Post survey were interviewed on a cellular phone.

 

The Post survey also asked questions about tribal membership and several questions to capture attitudes toward the team’s name and the broader use of Native American imagery in sports. In addition to standardized survey interviews, The Post conducted more than two dozen follow-up interviews with survey respondents who agreed to speak with reporters during the initial survey.

 

Q: How were Native Americans chosen for the survey?

 

The survey was conducted in conjunction with weekly national surveys of U.S. adults reached through a random sample of cellular and landline telephones conducted by SSRS of Media, Pa. Toward the end of a survey on a range of topics, respondents who identified their race as Native American were asked a series of questions on views of the Redskins team name and Native American imagery in sports. While Native Americans account for about 2 percent of the total population, the survey’s extended field period from December to April reached 504 Native American respondents. The survey interviewed Native Americans living in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, and respondents both living on or near reservations and those who do not.

 

Q: How did the survey define Native Americans?

 

All survey respondents identified themselves as Native Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives when asked, “Do you consider yourself white, black or African American, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, mixed race or some other race?” While many multi-racial Americans have partial Native American ancestry, the survey focused only on those who first identified themselves as Native Americans. This definition most closely compares with the Census Bureau’s categorization American Indian Alone, rather than American Indians in combination with another race.

 

Q: How did the survey account for tribal membership?

 

Respondents were asked whether they are currently enrolled as a member with a Native American tribe and to which specific tribe they belong. Tribal members represented 36 percent of interviews conducted and accounted for 44 percent of the final weighted sample, which matches the Census Bureau’s data on demographic and geographic characteristics. Cherokee and Navajo members accounted for the largest share of this group, though most reported enrollment in smaller tribes. Survey results are reported both for tribal members and non-tribal members, as well as for other demographic groups.

 

Q: How did the survey reach Native Americans living on reservations?

 

The survey used respondents’ Zip codes and the 2010 Census to identify whether their neighborhood included a federally recognized reservation or tribal land. Roughly 1 in 10 interviews were conducted among Native Americans who lived in Zip codes where at least 75 percent of land is on a reservation or tribal area, and another 10 percent live in Zip codes with at least some portion of tribal land. Final survey results were weighted to match census data indicating 20 percent of single-race Native Americans live in Zip codes with at least 75 percent reservation land, and 17 percent live in Zip codes containing at least some reservation land.

 

Q: How did the survey ask whether the Redskins name is offensive?

 

Questions must be clear to all respondents and avoid leading language to produce accurate results. The survey’s first question about the Redskins team name asked, “The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive, or doesn’t it bother you?” This same question was asked in a 2004 Annenberg Center survey, and some have suggested respondents could misunderstand the phrase “or doesn’t it bother you?” The Post asked follow-up questions of the first 43 respondents to verify they understood the questions and found no respondents changed their answer due to confusion about the wording (see methodology for more detail on this test). The results from this question are also broadly in line with other questions in the survey asking the general offensiveness of the word “Redskin.” Exact question wording, order and percentage results can be found at wapo.st/pollarchive.

 

Q: Can a sample of 500 Native Americans be projected to the entire population?

 

Surveys of this size can produce accurate estimates of any size population by employing “probability sampling,” where every member of the population has a known and equal chance of being selected. Such surveys are used to measure consumer confidence, the unemployment rate, political attitudes and health. The Post’s survey of 504 Native Americans has a margin of sampling error of 5.5 percentage points, meaning that if the same survey were repeated 100 times, in 95 cases the results would not be expected to differ by more than 5.5 percentage points. Surveys can have other sources of error and variation which are more difficult to quantify, including measurement error and non-response error and the fact that about 5 percent of Native Americans are unreachable by either cellular or landline phone. Statistical weighting to Census Bureau benchmarks helps correct for some of these issues. (Note:  the Washington Post surveyed approximately 15,000 people to obtain the 504 respondents who self identified as Native Americans.)

 

Q: Is the survey demographically representative of the Native American population?

 

Yes. Survey results were statistically weighted to match U.S. Census Bureau estimates of the demographic and regional population characteristics of single-race American Indian/Alaska Native adults. The final sample matches population estimates for gender and age groups, Hispanic ethnicity, educational attainment, regional makeup (Northeast, North-Central, South, Mountain and Pacific), and proximity to reservation and tribal lands.

 

Full question wording and additional technical information on the survey methodology is available here.

 

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Annenberg Survey 2004

 

National Annenberg Election Survey. (2004). Most Indians say name of Washington “Redskins” is acceptable while 9 percent call it offensive, Annenberg data show. Annenberg Public Policy Center. https://cdn.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2004/09/2004_03_redskins_09-24_pr2.pdf

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: September 24, 2004

CONTACT: Adam Clymer at 202-879-6757 or 202 549-7161 (cell) VISIT: www.naes04.org

Most Indians Say Name of Washington “Redskins” Is Acceptable While 9 Percent Call It Offensive, Annenberg Data Show

 

Most American Indians say that calling Washington’s professional football team the “Redskins” does not bother them, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

Ninety percent of Indians took that position, while 9 percent said they found the name “offensive.” One percent had no answer. The margin of sampling error for those findings was plus or minus two percentage points.

 

Because they make up a very small proportion of the total population, the responses of 768 people who said they were Indians or Native Americans were collected over a very long period of polling, from October 7, 2003, through September 20, 2004. They included Indians from every state except Alaska and Hawaii, where the Annenberg survey does not interview. The question that was put to them was “The professional football team in Washington calls itself the Washington Redskins. As a Native American, do you find that name offensive or doesn’t it bother you?” (Note: to obtain 768 people that self identified as a Native American, Anneberg interviewed 65,047 adults)

 

Some Indian leaders have called upon the team to change the name, but the Redskins’ owner, Daniel Snyder, has insisted it will keep the name it has had ever since 1933, when it played in Boston. The team moved to Washington in 1937.

 

There was little variation among subgroups of Native Americans. Eight percent of men and 9 percent of women said the name was offensive, while 90 percent of each sex said it did not bother them. Ten percent of Indians under 45 found the name offensive, compared to 8 percent of those 45 and older.

 

Thirteen percent of Indians with college degrees or more education said “Redskins” was offensive, compared to 9 percent of those with some college and 6 percent of those with a high school education or less. Fourteen percent of Indians who called themselves politically liberal said the name was offensive, compared to 9 percent of moderates and 6 percent of conservatives. Among Indians with household incomes of $75,000 or more, 12 percent found the name offensive, compared to 9 percent of those with incomes between $35,000 and $75,000 and 8 percent of those with incomes below $35,000.

 

The National Annenberg Election Survey is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (www.AnnenbergPublicPolicyCenter.org)

 

Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the director of the survey. Ken Winneg is the managing director of the survey. Adam Clymer is the political director of the survey.

 

Another major election project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center is FactCheck.org, a project that tries to hold politicians accountable by exposing false or misleading campaign statements. It is available online at www.FactCheck.Org.

 

Survey Methodology

 

The National Annenberg Election Survey (NAES) is a survey conducted each presidential election by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

The 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey is based on telephone interviews which began October 7, 2003, and will continue past Election Day.

 

The sample of telephone exchanges called was randomly selected by a computer from a complete list of thousands of active residential exchanges across the country. Within each exchange, random digits were added to form a complete telephone number, thus permitting access to both listed and unlisted numbers. Within each household, one adult was designated by a random procedure to be the respondent for the survey. The interviewing is conducted by Schulman, Ronca, Bucuvalas, Inc.

 

This report deals with interviewing conducted from Oct. 7, 2003, through September 20, 2004. In that period 65,047 adults were interviewed, of whom 768 identified themselves as Indians or Native Americans.

 

In theory, in 19 cases out of 20 the results for these interviews will differ by no more than two percentage points, up or down, from what would have been obtained by interviewing all American adults. For smaller subgroups, the margin of sampling error would be higher.

 

In addition to sampling error, the practical difficulties of conducting any survey of public opinion may introduce other sources of error into the poll. Variations in the wording and order of questions, for example, may lead to somewhat different results.

 

If you would like to be removed from this press release list, please call or email Jennifer Wilhelm at jwilhelm@asc.upenn.edu or (202) 879-6747.

For a printer-friendly version of this release please visit www.annnenbergpublicpolicycenter.org.

Washington Post Published Graphic 90% Approval
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