Is The CBS/N.Y. Times Poll Believable -- or Too Tilted?

Conservatives have debates over whether they should cite Rasmussen poll data because it is too divergent from other surveys. If that's the case, then why accept the new CBS/New York Times poll, which is out of step with other recent polls? Keep in mind, Rasmussen polls "likely voters," where CBS/NYT interviewed "adults." The distinction is critical. The latest CBS/NYT numbers show a very wide 42-percent gap for Obama: 66 percent approve, only 24 percent disapprove. The current average gap on Real Clear Politics is around 30 percent.

The same thing happened a few weeks before the election. The Polling Report showed Bush’s approval numbers in an October 19-22 survey were 22 percent approve, 72 percent disapprove – 11 to 14 points wider than the other polls at the time.

Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey points out the Times also touted "By contrast, just 31 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest in the 25 years the question has been asked in New York Times/CBS News polls." Are the liberals cooking the party-ID books again for these polls? Yep.

It’s not unusual for the Gray Lady to cook the numbers, either, to make sure their poll shows that support. This is the breakout in their demographics on page 23:

Democrats - 39%

Republicans - 23%

Independents - 30%

In February, just a month earlier, they had Democrats at 36% and Republicans at 26% — still too low for the GOP, but only a ten-point gap. Now they want to argue that Democrats have pushed the partisan gap to 16 points in a single month? Not hardly, says Rasmussen:

In March, the number of Democrats in the nation fell two percentage points while the number of Republicans fell by half-a-point. Democrats continue to have a sizable advantage in terms of partisan identification, but the advantage is smaller than it’s been since December 2007.

Currently, 38.7% of Americans say they are Democrats. That’s down from 40.8% a month ago. It’s also the first time the Democratic total has slipped below the 40% mark since the Republican convention bounce last September. … In March, 33.2% of American adults say they are Republicans. That’s down from 33.6% a month ago. Over the past year, the number of Republicans has ranged from a low of 31.4% in April to a high of 34.4% in September.

Morrissey added:

Unfortunately, they’re not the only news agencies using ridiculous sampling to bolster their contentions of wild popularity for Barack Obama.  Newsweek used a 19-point gap in its latest polling.  CNN thus far has neglected to publish the internals of its poll.  It’s just another round of dishonesty from the media.

Rasmussen has Obama’s polling at a more rational 58%, but then again, they don’t have an investment in Obama, Inc, as the media does.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis