AP Downplays Key Poll Finding: Democrats' Advantage Among Women Is Gone

October 22nd, 2014 9:28 AM

In relaying the results of their polling partnership's latest survey, Associated Press polling director Jennifer Agiesta and reporter Emily Swanson held their most important finding until their report's seventh paragraph.

Despite their effort to downplay it, Matt Drudge, whose nose for genuine news is legendary, spotted it. Accordingly, his current headline screams: "POLL SHOCK: WOMEN WANT REPUBLICANS!"

Well, at least the AP pair's snarky headline at the survey site ("Voters see GOP win in the offing, but they aren’t too fond of their choices") got shortened to a more objective "Most expect GOP victory in November" at the AP's national site and at other sites, like Yahoo, carrying the story.

Here is that key seventh paragraph:

Women have moved in the GOP's direction since September. In last month's AP-GfK poll, 47 percent of female likely voters said they favored a Democratic-controlled Congress while 40 percent wanted the Republicans to capture control. In the new poll, the two parties are about even among women, 44 percent prefer the Republicans, 42 percent the Democrats.

That's a 9-point swing — in one month. It would appear, thanks to the Obama administration's failure to deal seriously with ISIS for so long and its clumsy handling of Ebola, that the "Security Mom" effect may really be back.

There's little doubt that AP is not fond of what it has found.

The poll story is not among the Top Ten U.S. stories as of 8:15 a.m. (saved here for future reference). Among stories making the cut instead: "MORMONS ADDRESS MYSTERY SURROUNDING UNDERGARMENTS" and "NO TRICK: ACROSS US, HALLOWEEN BUMPED FOR FOOTBALL."

Working further to insulate their audience from the news, the AP has also kept the story away from its Top Ten Politics items as of 8:43 a.m. (saved here). Instead, the Number 2 spot has what one might think is a helpful "5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MIDTERMS POLL" report — except that the poll's female shift to Republicans is not one of those five things. Even the "5 things" story has a "Don't read this; it's really not that important" aroma. Its first sentence: "Someone has to win."

The wire's service's "Politics Top 10" also includes — in the Number One spot — a puff piece about how "THE CLINTONS (are) THE DEMOCRATS' 2014 SUPER SURROGATES," and a "keep hope alive" item ("DEMOCRATIC CHAIR: ELECTION IS 'NECK AND NECK'") at Number Eight. No bias there (/sarcasm).

One more thing: President Obama's name appears just once in the AP pair's report — "6 in 10 disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and 6 in 10 describe the nation’s economy as 'poor'" — in Paragraph 14 of 16, as their last substantive finding before going into the poll's methodology.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.