Liberal radio host Bill Press wants it both ways.
He's "blown away and upset" that Gallup's daily tracking poll yesterday showed Mitt Romney ahead of President Obama by seven points. Press also wants everyone to know that the poll is meaningless. (audio clip after page break)
Which begs the question -- does the utterly insignificant bother Press -- depress Press, if you will -- on a regular basis?
Here he is on his radio show this morning condemning the poll and even suggesting it should not have been reported (audio) --
Let's talk polls. I am so blown away and upset by all this noise over the latest Gallup poll. And once again Democrats are panicking, every time a poll like this comes out, Democrats run for the high hills or run for the tall grass or whatever you want, they're panicking because, and by the way at the same time Republicans are rejoicing, oh my God, the Drudge Report, you would think it was the Second Coming, right, because the latest Gallup national tracking poll shows some huge bounce for Mitt Romney, showing Mitt Romney over President Obama among likely voters, 52 to 45.
So I said, Democrats hit the panic button, Republicans are popping the champagne. Let me tell you something, for both sides -- forget about it! Forget about it! You are panicking or you're delirious over nothing, nothing, nothing. Look, we've been here before and I just, I just thought it was so important this morning one more time to clear the air about what this is all about. And to say this does not mean anything, OK? And, I might add also, it is simply outrageous, it is irresponsible for the media, OK, you expect Fox to have an orgasm over this poll. You expect the Drudge Report, right, because they're going to spin it any way they can. You expect the Romney campaign to brag about it and to crow about it. But for the mainstream media to even report this poll, to make any, or to give it any credibility, right, to assign it any importance is just simply irresponsible. The media's not doing its job. Except, what they're doing is trying to keep this thing alive anyway they can, trying to still make it look like a horse race -- and not that it's over, by the way, it's going to be close -- and trying to sell papers and get ratings. That is what it's all about.
Can't help but wonder what the threshold is before Press is "blown away" by a poll -- Romney up by six instead of seven? How about five point -- that trigger it? Perhaps any result beyond that comforting margin of error.
In fairness, I suspect that Press would also express doubt about Gallup showing Obama ahead by 7 (assuming such a result was part of a pattern, as the case currently for Romney). Just as Press would somehow refrain from condemning the media as reckless for reporting on Gallup polling Obama up by 7.
Press can delude himself that no one took the poll seriously, but there's little doubt it wasn't shrugged off at Obama campaign headquarters. And while it remains true that presidential elections are decided in the Electoral College and not through the popular vote, any candidate's lead approaching double-digits nationally within three weeks of the election becomes nearly insurmountable to overcome.
Press's remarks also come across as nonsensical -- if media outlets are cynically attempting to make the race appear closer "to sell papers and get ratings," why would they cite a poll showing Romney's lead widening? It's when thoroughbreds are running neck and neck that noise from the grandstand is loudest, not when one of the horses is pulling away.