bigjeff5 wrote:The saddest part is that the misinterpretation is likely the correct interpretation. The journalist almost certainly intends to say percentage points, but only says percent. The drooling masses then misinterpret the misstatement for the same reason the journalist made the mistake in the first place, and reach the correct conclusion of 1%.
Two wrongs certainly can make a right, though as a form of communication it is rather impractical to hope everyone will misinterpret you correctly.
Context can be important here. Losing 19% of your base is a serious loss, to be sure, but losing 95% (19 out of 20 percentage points) is more like the sort of irreparable catastrophe implied by "imploded". Of course, they could clear all this up with a nice graph of his popularity vs. time. (Presupposing that the news outlet in question can be trusted with graphs, which I rather doubt.)