"Fair and balanced" FoxNews.com used various methods to bury its own findings last week that President Obama leads Mitt Romney in a national poll of 901 registered voters. In web articles, Fox hyped other findings that were unfavorable to Obama. But my favorite was the claim that Obama's 4-point lead was within the poll's margin of error - which was 3 points. UPDATED
As Business Insider noted last week (H/T Vermont Dave), it was hard to find the news that Obama came out on top of its poll. Instead, FoxNews.com chose to focus on how Americans blame the government and Obama's "politics" (I think they meant "policies") for making economic woes worse.
Today, the headline is:
You have to scroll down nine paragraphs to get to this information, obviously spun so as to make the results look as bad as possible for Obama:
Despite voters’ sentiments about their own lives and the economy, 50 percent say President Obama deserves to be re-elected. Almost as many -- 48 percent -- say he doesn’t.
In addition, 45 percent of voters would back Obama and 41 percent Republican Mitt Romney, if the presidential election were held today. Obama’s advantage is within the poll’s three percentage-point margin of sampling error.
It's one thing to spin and another to outright misrepresent your own poll. Last I checked, Obama's 45 percent was four
percentage points ahead Romney's 41 percent and, therefore, outside of a three percentage-point margin of error. By the way, I checked to see if the "three" was some kind of typo and it's not
Johnny Dollar, the cyberstalker who has stalked and obsessed over News Hounds for eight years, has a snarky post up saying that I lied (which served as an excuse to call me "Sharia Ellen" and post my photo). I didn't lie, of course, but it turns out my statement about the margin of error is not quite right. Cyberstalker alleges that there should be a six point spread, meaning that Obama's 45 percent could be 42 or 48, Romney's 41 could be 44 o4 38 and that therefore, the results are within the margin of error. I actually did a fair amount of research into this and while it's possible
the findings are within the margin of error, the vast likelihood is that Obama is ahead. I recommend this article
and the ABC News' polling division PDF it links to. The overall point is that doubling the margin of error is not an accurate way to assess the findings and it's not equally likely that Romney will be at 42 as it is he'll be at 44. Bottom line, this chart, linked to in the above-referenced article, shows that with a 4% difference between the candidates in a poll with a margin of error of 3%, as we have with the Fox News poll, there is a 90.5% chance that Obama is leading
In any event, the flap that Johnny Dollar Cyberstalker is trying to make about this does not negate the overall point of my post - which is that Fox spun the results of its own polling to make the outcome look worse for President Obama.
OK, Cyberstalker, now that I've responded, it's time for you to explain why you posted the details of a former News Hounds' sex life (I refuse to link but I've got screen caps if needed)? And time to answer the question whether you are a paid troll or personally obsessed.