USA Today Buries Critical Finding in Article About its Own Poll

Imagine if you will that a month ago, a major newspaper, in combination with a major polling organization, had pronounced that the Republicans were ahead by 23 percentage points in voter preference for the upcoming midterm elections. Further imagine that just two weeks ago, this lead had been trimmed to thirteen. And, just for argument’s sake, with two days to go before the pivotal elections, the Democrats had cut this lead to only seven points. Do you think the opening paragraph in the article on this subject by this major, left-leaning newspaper might address this?

Well, USA Today just posted an article at its website (hat tip to The Strata-Sphere) concerning a new poll done with the Gallup Organization (this author is waiting with baited breath for the full results to be published!), and the most important finding of the survey didn’t come until the sixth paragraph (emphasis mine): “What's more, President Bush's last-ditch push for votes and Sen. John Kerry's comments that seemed to denigrate the education level of U.S. forces in Iraq have helped energize GOP voters. A Democratic advantage of 23 percentage points a month ago and 13 points two weeks ago is now down to 7.”

Instead of leading with that important information, the reader had to wade through the following:

A national USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds remarkable parallels between the congressional elections Tuesday and the watershed elections in 1994 that swept Republicans into control of the House and Senate.

•Then, likely voters by 51%-44% favored Republican congressional candidates. Now, voters by 51%-44% favor Democratic ones.

•Then, 52% said they were paying "quite a lot" of attention to the elections, the highest since the Gallup Poll began asking the question in 1958. Now, 50% say they are paying "quite a lot" of attention, the second-highest.

•Then, disapproval of Congress was at 66%. Now, disapproval of Congress is at 70%.

"Based on history, a 7-point lead among likely voters still suggest Democrats will take enough votes to win a majority of seats in the House," says Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. What gives some analysts pause, however, is the sophisticated redistricting over the past decade that has made most congressional districts less competitive.

Amazing. Do you think you would have suffered through all of that if the Democrats had eliminated more than two thirds of a 23 point deficit in just one month?

Of course, the entire poll has not been published yet for further scrutiny. However, with the full results already out from the Washington Post/ABC News poll, and Pew Research Center confirming what USA Today is now reporting, this has been quite a trifecta that must be giving liberal media types across the country a very bad Sunday regardless of how their football teams did this weekend.

Makes one wonder if the Maalox supplies at pressrooms coast to coast are sufficient to accommodate the demand tomorrow

Polling USA Today
Noel Sheppard's picture