What does CNN do when it gets a poll result it doesn’t like? It buries the lead and spins the results. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll found Barack Obama ready to lose to several 2012 presidential nominees. Rather than report the result straightforwardly, it emphasizes how positive the poll is for the president. CNN’s “news” piece on the poll begins:
His party got its clock cleaned in Tuesday’s midterm elections, but President Barack Obama still remains competitive in some hypothetical 2012 presidential election matchups, especially against Sarah Palin, a new poll shows.
The poll then inexplicably shifts to a discussion of which Republican candidates are in the lead for the 2012 presidential nomination, although the primaries are more than a year away, and there is not a single declared candidate yet. Then it ignores the poll altogether to report that former senator Rick Santorum is scheduled to give a speech in New Hampshire.
Hoping the reading has tuned out after its excursion into irrelevance, the poll gets to the point: most Republican candidates would clean Obama’s clock.
As though its “journalists” were holding their own hands and reassuring themsleves everything would be OK, they begin: “In a possible general election showdown, Obama leads Palin 52-44 percent among all registered voters.” True; then again “all registered voters” do not vote. Not even all “likely voters” vote.
To further help itself swallow the news, CNN quotes Polling Director Keating Holland for a full paragraph. “Looking ahead to 2012, it may be too early to count Barack Obama out, particularly if Sarah Palin is his opponent,” he comforted them.
Then, on to the hard numbers:
In a hypothetical 2012 matchup, [Mike] Huckabee leads Obama 52 – 44 percent, while [Mitt] Romney has a 50-45 point advantage, which is within the poll’s sampling error.
That contention seems odd, since the piece notes, “The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.” It continues:
Obama holds a 49-47 percent margin over [Newt] Gingrich.
Note the poll does not state Obama’s lead over Gingrich is “within the poll’s sampling error.”
Incidentally, the story begins by reporting that its poll claims the leading Republicans for the 2012 nomination are Huckabee (21 percent) and Romney (20 percent). A number of CNN election day polls show essentially a three-way tie between Palin, Romney, and Huckabee in the early primary states.
Will ObamAlbatross Last to 2012?
CNN then claims, “On the Democratic side, nearly three-quarters of Democrats say they want to see the party renominate Obama in 2012.” Again, this seems odd, since an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll released on Sunday found 47 percent of Democrats “said Obama should be challenged for the 2012 nomination.” One wonders how Obama made up 22 points in three days, particularly after a national repudiation on election day.
So, there’s nothing to fear; Obama is still “competitive,” and the Democrats still adore their Glorious Leader.
The network claimed it showed Lou Dobbs the door last year to focus on “hard news,” although it recently debuted…Parker/Spitzer.
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