David Broder and Dan Balz wrote a rather lengthy, front-page story for the Washington Post this morning with the cautionary headline “Poll Shows Strong Shift Of Support to Democrats.” However, Broder and Balz chose not to share some key information from this poll with their readers, the most important of which being the political breakdown of those questioned. In fact, the meager percentage of Republican respondents to this survey should have led the Post to headline this article "Poll Shows Strong Shift Of Questions to Democrats!"
The article began: “Democrats have regained a commanding position going into the final weeks of the midterm-election campaigns, with support eroding for Republicans on Iraq, ethics and presidential leadership, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.”
Yet, nowhere did the authors let their readers know that 41 percent more Democrats were questioned for this survey than Republicans. That’s right. The breakdown was: 38 percent Democrats; 27 percent Republicans, and; 31 percent Independents. This was the largest skewing of Democrats to Republicans in a WaPo-ABC News poll since at least April. By contrast, in last month’s poll, the breakdown was 33 percent Democrats, 32 percent Republicans, and 30 percent Independents.
With this in mind, should it be at all surprising that President Bush’s job approval dropped by 3 percentage points since the September poll? Or that approval for the job Bush is doing in Iraq dropped by six points, and for the war on terror by eight?
Furthermore, given a ten point swing in the Democrat versus Republican respondent differential, should it be at all surprising that there was a four percentage point increase in folks saying they’ll vote for Democrats in November?
Forgive me, folks, but with four weeks to go before the midterm elections, it is absolutely shameful that any polling organization would do such a poor job of evenly distributing respondents by political affiliation.
Liberal media bias? What liberal media bias?