CNN: Do we have to report that Bush is winning?

CNN is running a whopper of a headline/story: “Bush apparently leads Kerry in pre-debate poll”

As Steven Taylor accuratly points out, all polls are subject to question at some level. Why do they qualify this poll? The numbers don’t support it:

Bush apparently leads Kerry in pre-debate poll
President’s approval rating highest since January

(CNN) — Headed into their first face-to-face debate, President Bush appears to be leading Democratic Sen. John Kerry among likely voters, with a clearer edge among registered voters.

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that among likely voters, Bush was the choice of 52 percent, while Kerry was the choice of 44, percent and independent Ralph Nader garnered 3 percent. That result was within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

In the broader category of registered voters, 53 percent supported Bush; 42 percent, Kerry; and 3 percent, Nader. That question had the same margin of error.

I wonder if the reporter was in tears having to report good news for Bush? Bush is up by 8 among likely and 11 among registered, yet CNN says Bush “apparently” leads and stresses the margin of error.

I guess they did it to downplay the great internals for Bush:

Although the poll showed Americans divided almost evenly over whether they approve of the president’s Iraq policy, 55 percent said it was not a mistake to send U.S. troops there, compared with 42 percent who thought it was a mistake.

And a majority, 53 percent, said they would support Bush if he wanted to send still more troops to Iraq.

Asked which man would better handle the situation in Iraq, 55 percent said Bush and 41 percent said Kerry. Two months ago, they were tied on that question.

The poll also showed Bush’s job approval rating at 54 percent — the highest since January — and it found increased public approval for the president’s handling of the economy, terrorism, the situation in Iraq and foreign affairs.

Among likely voters, 49 percent also said they believe Kerry would lead the country in the wrong direction, compared with just 44 percent who thought he would lead it in the right direction. But 54 percent of likely voters thought Bush would take America in the right direction; only 44 thought he would move the country in the wrong direction.

In the poll, Bush got higher marks than Kerry on handling the economy, Iraq and terrorism. (read the rest)

CNN is apparently a news organization but from this report, it is within the margin of error.

The Suspense Is Killing Us
Kerry: No Mas! No Mas!

15 Comments

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