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Selective Polls

Reported by Nancy - August 9, 2004 -

On FNL today (Aug 9), David Asman appeared worried that a new Time magazine poll shows Kerry leading Bush, by 48% to 43%. After a few teasers (for example, "Is the Democrat opening a lead? What does the President have to do about it?"), he finally got around to discussing it.

Even the teasers were partisan. The example I gave above refers to neither candidate by name, but refers to Kerry by party & to Bush by position. Why not refer to both by name, to both by party or to both by position? [Comment: because that would be fair & balanced, that's why not]

At 12:36pm (EDT), Asman interviewed Bill Sammon, whom he introduced as a correspondent for the Washington Times & author of "Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters" -- without mentioning that the book's publisher is yet another of the many companies owned by Rupert Murdoch. And if the book's title alone doesn't tell you that Sammon is biased, here's an excerpt from the publishers web page about the book:

For the first time, Sammon discloses the president's vow that Kerry will "regret" bad-mouthing the liberation of Iraq, the seminal event in the post-9/11 phase of the Bush presidency. Rove even details for Sammon the White House strategy to paint Kerry as a condescending elitist whose "blatant" attempts to capitalize on his Vietnam experience will ultimately come back to haunt him. Misunderestimated also meticulously tracks the rise of the Bush haters, a disturbing political phenomenon that colors everything from the war on terrorism to the presidential campaign. The impact extends to the press, which Sammon exposes for racing to brand Operation Iraqi Freedom another Vietnam "quagmire" less than eighteen months after making the same blunder during the Afghan war.

Asman said that he had also intended to interview Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post, but she never joined the discussion. So Asman & Sammon had the next fews minutes all to themselves, which allowed Asman to feed Sammon lines & Sammon to regurgitate right-wing attacks without challenge. For example, when Asman commented that 54% of people polled say Bush isn't using terror alerts politically, & "even" Kerry agrees with that, Sammon sneered that Kerry has "bomb-throwing surrogates like Howard Dean" to make that claim for him.

General Comment: No, I don't expect Asman or FNL to dissect every nuance of the Time magazine poll, which included many other questions, or to discuss every poll that's done on this topic. But isn't it interesting that they focussed on the Time poll? PollingReport.com, which bills itself as "An independent, nonpartisan resource on trends in American public opinion" & which publishes many, many polls on many, many subjects, from many, many sources, has some recent polls on precisely this topic (Kerry v Bush). Here's a summary:

BUSH v KERRY: Among likely voters Time 8/5: Bush 44, Kerry 51 Democracy Corps 8/5: Bush 45 Kerry 52 FOX/Opinion Dynamics 8/4: Bush 43, Kerry 48 ABC/Washington Post 8/1: Bush 48, Kerry 49 CNN/USA Today/Gallup 8/1: Bush 51, Kerry 47

BUSH v KERRY: Among registered voters
Time 8/5: Bush 43, Kerry 51
IBD/CSM/TIPP 8/5: Bush 43, Kerry 49
FOX/Opinion Dynamics 8/4: Bush 43, Kerry 46
ABC/Washington Post 8/1: Bush 45, Kerry 52
American Research Group 8/1: Bush 46, Kerry 49
CBS 8/1: Bush 44, Kerry 51
CNN/USA Today/Gallup 8/1: Bush 48, Kerry 48

Additionally, today's Washington Post has a poll showing Bush 44, Kerry 50, Nader 2.

I think the GOPs are frantic to counter this trend of rising poll numbers for Kerry & falling poll numbers for Bush (in spite of the "terror alerts").