Should She Stay?

A Sun Snapshot: Nearly 400 People Representing A Cross Section Of Baltimore Debate Mayor Dixon Future.

December 06, 2009

Where we went

After consulting with Donald F. Norris, chairman of the public policy department at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Baltimore Sun dispatched 25 journalists on Thursday to 15 city neighborhoods that, taken together, mirror the racial, gender and age breakdown and median household income of the city as a whole. Information for each was obtained from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance, which uses Census data.

About the interviews

Sun journalists sought at least 20 people in each neighborhood representing the demographic composition of that area. The results -- tabulated by using commercially available polling software - are not statistically valid, but they offer a snapshot of attitudes across the city. The Sun's sample of 383 city residents contained 65 percent black respondents and 33 percent white respondents; the citywide population is 64 percent black and 31 percent white, according to the last Census. The interviewees were 52 percent female and 48 percent male; the city population is 53 percent female and 47 percent male. A scientific survey, based on a random, representative sample of the same size, would have a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence interval.

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