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More "Creative" Poll Analysis by FOX News Hosts

Reported by Marie Therese - November 17, 2006 -

Wednesday morning on FOX & Friends First Steve Doocy, Kiran Chetry and Judge Andrew Napolitano did a story on a recent Associated Press/IPSOS poll that measured post-election sentiment in the United States. It was fascinating to watch the trio of GOP shills jump through verbal hoops as they tried to put a smiley face on those portions of the poll that didn't fit the GOP talking points.

The poll included responses to six questions.

Question 1. Have the results of the election made you feel more or less confident in the fairness of the country’s electoral system?

Results showed that confidence in the integrity of the voting system decreased 4% from 54% in 2004 to 50% in 2006.*

This result not covered in the FOX & Friends First segment.

Question 2. Now that the Democrats have taken control of Congress, do you think the country will be...

Better off .............................................42
Worse off .............................................21
Will not make a difference .................. 33
Not sure .............................................. 4

This result, showing that 75% of Americans believe we will be better off or at least no worse off under Democrats, was covered in a very sneaky way towards the very end of the segment. in the transcript below, observe how Doocy subtly phrases his words and Napolitano answers as though 20% represents a majority of the country. This one is really subtle, so much so that it almost got past me.

STEVE DOOCY: "Also, two in ten say that that the country will be worse off with the Democrats in control of Congress." (N.B. Remember that 2 in 10 is 20%. Doocy avoided using the actual percentage.)

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO (impassioned): "How can they say these things a week after they voted the other way? I don't understand!

In light of the fact that this 20% clearly represented die-hard Republicans, Napolitano's comment was sheer nonsense.

Question 3. How confident are you that President Bush and the Democrats in Congress can work together to solve the country’s problems?

Very confident................................... 8
Somewhat confident......................... 40
Not too confident............................. 30
Not at all confident.......................... 20
Not sure............................................ 2

Here's what the F&F crew had to say on this topic:

STEVE DOOCY: "Also according to the poll 47 percent (sic) are confident that the President and Congress can work together. Harry Reid had said, goin' in, you know, we're gonna get stuff done because of bi-partisanship and stuff like that. Well, then - after the election, he has since amended it and said that the burden of getting along and getting things done is on President Bush."

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: "Wow!"

DOOCY: "That sounds different from ...."

NAPOLITANO: "Why is the burden on him?! I mean, there's one of him and there's hundreds of them. I would think it would be a bilateral burden!"

Question 4. I’m going to read you a list of issues and I’m going to read the list twice. Please tell me which one issue should be the highest priority for the U.S. Congress in the next two years. The issues are...

The situation in Iraq......................... 37
Terrorism......................................... 15
Health care...................................... 12
The economy................................... 10
Immigration...................................... 9
Education......................................... 7
Unemployment................................. 5
Taxes............................................... 3
Other............................................... 1
Not sure........................................... 1

Kiran Chetry did the obfuscation dance on this one, citing "exit" polls during a discussion of the AP/IPSOS poll. The inattentive viewer could easily have made incorrect inferences from her commentary.

KIRAN CHETRY: "And it's really interesting, because all - a lot - of the exit polling said that people cared about Iraq ..."

NAPOLITANO: "Right."

CHETRY: "... and that was their number one issue. There are others who still believe that things like immigration and anger that conservative Republicans didn't do more on immigration is possibly the reason."

STEVE DOOCY: "You know, once again, those exit polls that are so often quoted? Maybe not so accurate."

N.B. Chetry had to tread lightly and was careful not to quote the AP/IPSOS poll figures on the immigration question because it would have shown that immigration was not the hot button issue that FOX News claimed it was.

Question 5. Do the Democrats in Congress have a plan on how to handle the situation in Iraq, or not?

Yes................................................... 29
No.................................................... 57
Not sure........................................... 14

The results of this question were covered at the beginning of the segment.

STEVE DOOCY: "A week ago Tuesday - did you hear about this? - there was a big election ..."

NAPOLITANO: "Right."

DOOCY: "... and the Democrats swept control of Congress and, well, now Associated Press and IPSOS have done a poll and here's the - well, here's the bad news. Nearly three out of five Americans believe that, even though the Democrats are in control of Congress, they do not have a plan for what to do in Iraq. Three out of five. 60% don't think the Democrats have a plan."

NAPOLITANO: "This is really incredible because a week ago today we were sitting here analyzing the voting results and 55% percent of Americans voted for Democrats and 45% voted of Americans voted for Republicans and now we find out that 60% of Americans think the people they vote for don't even have a plan to get out of Iraq!"

KIRAN CHETRY: "So, what does that show you? It shows you that the majority of people were so uphappy with the current situation and the current course that they were willing to take a chance and vote for somebody or vote for a group of people that they believe don't even have a plan, but it's better than the course we're taking now."

NAPOLITANO: "You know, well, the old expression 'be careful what you ask for because you might get it' is now coming to play because yesterday Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin introduced legislation to require all the troops to be out by July of '07. That's seven months from now. The Democrats are gonna have to deal with that. Do they really want to do that now that they're in control of the Congress?"

Question 6. How much of the blame does President Bush deserve for the Republican losses in the recent Congressional elections?

All of the blame................................. 13
A great deal....................................... 32
Some................................................. 31
Very little........................................... 12
None of the blame............................. 10
Not sure............................................. 2

This result, which showed that 76% of Americans blame President Bush at least somewhat for the recent Republican losses in the election, was never discussed.

COMMENT

A new AP/IPSOS poll released this morning, November 17, 2006, shows that

61% of the country now believes that we are headed in the wrong direction
62% disapprove of the job George Bush is doing
55% believe disapprove of the way he's handled the economy
62% disapprove of the way he's handled domestic issues like health care, education, environment and energy
58% disapprove of the way he's handled foreign affairs and the war on terrorism
66% disapprove of the way he's handled the war in Iraq
70% disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job


* Hat tip to reader "crshedd" for pointing out that the original post had these numbers reversed. Post has been corrected. - MT