06 October 2009

Here's how they cook the books....

First sentence reads:
NEW YORK – President Barack Obama's approval ratings are starting to rise after declining ever since his inauguration, new poll figures show as the country's mood begins to brighten.
Leading the reader to believe that things are getting better for the messiah in chief - as for the first time since his inauguration his poll numbers have started to rise.
An Associated Press-GfK poll says 56 percent of those surveyed in the past week approve of Obama's job performance, up from 50 percent in September. It's the first time since he took office in January that his rating has gone up.
Sounds pretty rosy for the White House, right?

Well, you have to go to the poll itself to find the real story, and that one's buried near the end of the poll questions. On page 23 of 32, the question is: "Do you consider yourself a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or none of these?"

Total Democrat = 43%
Total Republican = 32%

So, right off the top you've got an 11% difference in sampling, and that difference favors the president. Take a look at the sampling and you'll see around 90% of the Democrats are in the strong to moderate category and around 60% of Republicans are in the same category.

The Democrats that responded tend to be more liberal and left leaning and the Republicans that responded are nearly evenly divided into thirds - equally spread between strong, moderate and independent.

Add those two things up and you'll find that this "independent" poll ain't so unbiased. Yet I can promise you that the headlines tomorrow will read "Obama's poll numbers make strong turnaround" or some such tripe.

But the fact of the matter is that the poll numbers are cooked, and the president is still searching vainly for a cogent thought.
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