WaPo Hypes Poll Showing 'Many Still Skeptical of GOP'; Still Neglects to Report Poll Showing Disapproval of ObamaCare
Yesterday my colleague Tim Graham noted how the Washington Post failed to report its most recent ABCNews-Washington Post opinion poll on President Obama's signature health care overhaul legislation.
This was despite the fact that the poll showed ObamaCare had fallen to "the lowest level of popularity ever" as ABC reporter Jake Tapper observed.
Today the Post continued to keep its poll findings from the print edition.
Of course, the Post was careful to front-page a story by Dan Balz and Jon Cohen on how, "In poll, many [are] still skeptical of GOP."
"Republicans may have made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people," Balz and Cohen began their story. "[T]he public trusts Obama marginally more than they do congressional Republicans to deal with the country's main problems in the coming years, 43 percent to 38 percent," the Post staffers noted in the next paragraph.
In the 11th paragraph on page A15, Balz and Cohen noted that the poll shows "Obama maintains double-digit leads over Republicans in... helping the middle class and health-care reform," but Balz and Cohen failed to use that opportunity tonote contradictory poll data on ObamaCare that might suggest a more nuanced picture of the public's mood on the issue of health care reform.
Here's how pollster Gary Langer summarized the ObamaCare poll findings in a December 13 blog post at ABCNews.com (emphasis mine):
Coinciding with a federal judge’s ruling invalidating a key element of the health care reform law, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds support for the landmark legislation at a new low – but division on what to do about it.
The law’s never been popular, with support peaking at just 48 percent in November 2009. Today it’s slipped to 43 percent, numerically its lowest in ABC/Post polling. (It was about the same, 44 percent, a year ago.) Fifty-two percent are opposed, and that 9-point gap in favor of opposition is its largest on record since the latest debate over health care reform began in earnest in summer 2009.
More also continue to “strongly” oppose the law than to strongly support it, 37 percent to 22 percent.
What to do about it is another question: People who don’t support the law fragment on how to proceed, with a plurality in this group, 38 percent, saying they’d rather wait and see before deciding on a direction. Among the rest, 30 percent would repeal parts of the law, while about as many, 29 percent, favor repealing all of it.
Today's Post also printed a page A3 story by staffer Amy Goldstein on how ObamaCare's "Mandatory coverage [provision] moves to forefront of health-care debate," but that 18-paragraph story dealt solely with the legal challenges to ObamaCare, not public opinion about the legislation.