The first question in a poll conducted by CBS’s 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair magazine asked Americans to nominate a fifth face for Mt. Rushmore and included Barack Obama among the contenders. While President Kennedy took the lead with 29%, Obama came in fourth with 16%, just behind Franklin Roosevelt at 18% and Ronald Reagan at 20%.
On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez discussed the poll with CBSNews.com’s Cali Carlin and Vanity Fair’s Michael Hogan. Smith thought the Rushmore question was “terrific” and guessed that “it’s got to be between Kennedy and FDR.” Rodriguez made the same prediction: “if you know anything about history, you’d have to do FDR because he served four terms. But I think given our current population, most people probably said Kennedy.” Neither of them suggested Republican choices Reagan or Eisenhower would earn such a place of honor.
Carlin confirmed those guesses: “You’re right, it is JFK. People want to further that Camelot feeling and they would add him.” She then added: “But about 16% wanted our current president, Barack Obama, even though he hasn’t even served a full year in office. He got fourth place.” Rodriguez observed: “That’s unbelievable. Maybe just because of the historic significance of him being African American.” Carlin expressed skepticism: “Yeah, it could be a little premature though, maybe like that Nobel Prize.”
On today's American Morning, anchor Kiran Chetry engaged Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele in a discussion of the Democrats' health care bill. Citing a recent CNN poll, she claimed that a majority wants "some kind of public option":
CHETRY: I know one of the things that Republicans are very much against is the public option. And this is a huge hurdle that has to pass. This would mean that the government would have a government-sponsored insurance plan competing with private insurers. And that's a very controversial move.
But our latest CNN poll shows that 56 percent are now in favor of some sort of public option. What is that telling you, as Republicans go out there and talk to their constituents...
STEELE: Well, it doesn't...
CHETRY: ... about the need for some sort of affordable insurance?
STEELE: Well, it's a nice poll. I like to see how the question was asked to the people, because that number tells me that they don't know exactly what it is. When you say some kind of public option...
MSM polls may say a majority don't consider Sarah Palin qualified to be President (60 percent according to ABC News-Washington Post), but just as many people recognize the media's unfair hostility toward her. “About six in 10 Americans (61 percent) think Palin has been treated unfairly by the press,” a Fox News-Opinion Dynamics survey released on Friday -- and highlighted on Saturday's Fox Newswatch on FNC -- discovered. That's up from 58 percent in January. Half as many, 31 percent, said she's been covered “fairly,” with 8 percent answering “don't know.”
While an overwhelming 83 percent of Republicans consider media coverage unfair toward Palin, so do a solid 65 percent majority of independents -- and even a significant minority of Democrats: 37 percent. (PDF of the Palin portion of the poll of 900 registered voters taken November 17-19. Snip below the jump of the full results for the question: “Do you think Sarah Palin has been treated fairly or unfairly by the press?”)
That the Associated Press's basement-level poll-cooking and poll-reporting standards are quite low, and quite agenda-driven, might as well be an article of faith by this time.
But the wire service-commissioned poll on health care, and Erica Warner's report on it (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes; HT JammieWearingFool via Instapundit; the full poll report in PDF format is here) plumbs new depths of partisanship while making errors of both omission and commission.
Warner and AP want the big takeaway to be that taxing "the rich" is the idea the public overwhelmingly favors to pay for ObamaCare -- never mind that the same public also opposes the plan itself.
What follows is a graphic containing selected paragraphs from Werner's report:
As several networks run around with new ratify-our-liberal-bias polls insisting that Sarah Palin is completely unqualified to be president -- exquisitely timed to ruin her book tour and channel all their very obvious and partisan Palin-loathing -- where are the polls that are about 2009, as opposed to 2012?
A scan of Gallup.com and Pollingreport.com suggests that neither Gallup nor any of the networks are asking about the Fort Hood shooting -- either about whether it was terrorism or about whether it shakes people's confidence in the government's ability to protect American citizens from domestic terrorism attacks. Rasmussen had a poll that found 60 percent think Major Nidal Hasan should be tried for terrorism (and liberal blogger Greg Sargent also pulled out of that poll that a majority worried about a backlash against Muslims.)
On the KSM trial decision, there is one poll by CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation, but there is no question about the judgment of President Obama or Attorney General Holder. As Polling Report listed the questions:
In a week of surprising polls, Gallup has just released another that will raise some eyebrows given legislation just passed in the House last Saturday:
[T]his year marks the first time in the history of this trend that less than half of Americans say ensuring healthcare coverage for all is the federal government's responsibility...The current poll results indicate that, with the renewed healthcare debate since Obama took office, Americans have become less convinced that it is an appropriate goal for the federal government to take on the responsibility of ensuring that all Americans have healthcare coverage.
That's an eye catcher.
And given the ObamaCare baton just having been passed to the Senate, one would think an honest, impartial media would give these results ample attention in the coming days (h/t Hot Air):
Brent Bozell was hardly alone yesterday in touting new polls showing a surge for conservatism in reaction to Barack Obama's forever-lengthening statist agenda. Also making the rounds is Nile Gardiner's blog for the Telegraph (of the UK) suggesting President Obama has failed to defeat American conservatism:
This week’s striking Gallup poll on political ideology is further confirmation that the United States is in essence a conservative nation, which has ironically become even more conservative under Barack Obama. According to Gallup, 40 percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36 percent as moderate and 20 percent as liberal. This is the first time conservatives have outnumbered moderates in America since 2004.
The Washington Post touted a new poll on Tuesday that popular support is increasing for a government-run "public option" health care system – just as liberal Democrats try to push that into the Senate Finance Committee bill. The headline was "Public option gains support: Clear majority now backs plan." So it’s not surprising, as Ed Morrissey found at Hot Air, that the Post is stuffing its poll sample with a few extra Democrats:
The sampling comprises 33% Democrats, as opposed to only 20% Republicans. That thirteen-point spread is two points larger than their September polling, at 32%/21%. More tellingly, it’s significantly larger than their Election Day sample, which included 35% Democrats to 26% Republicans for a gap of nine points, about a third smaller than the gap in this poll. Of course, that’s when they were more concerned about accuracy over political points of view.
The Post’s poll (illustrated by a chart) found respondents favored a public option "to compete with" private insurance by a margin of 57 to 40 percent. But even with the polling sample tilted toward the Democrats, some less favorable findings weren’t in the headline, as Dan Balz and Jon Cohen reported:
On Tuesday’s Situation Room, CNN’s Jack Cafferty highlighted a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which found that Americans apparently support the public option and mandatory insurance, and most of the viewer responses that he read supported these left-wing positions. Cafferty didn’t explicitly voice his agreement with the poll results, but presented his own liberal proposal for health care.
Cafferty touted how “a majority of Americans supports two of the more controversial parts of health care reform: the public option and requiring everyone to buy insurance” during his 4 pm “Question of the Hour” segment: “A new Washington Post/ABC News Poll shows independents and seniors, both critical voting blocs, have warmed up to the idea of a public insurance option. Fifty-seven percent favor the public option. Fifty-six percent support making it mandatory for all Americans to buy health insurance, either through their employers, on their own, or through Medicare or Medicaid.”
Ed Morrisey of HotAir.com pointed out on Tuesday morning that this poll has a skewed sample. On the other hand, the CNN commentator did however subsequently note that “there’s even broader opposition to how to pay for all of this. Sixty-one percent are opposed to the proposed tax on so-called Cadillac insurance plans, and nearly 70 percent say they think any health care bill will increase the federal deficit, although almost half of those people say it would be worth it to grow the deficit in order to achieve true health care reform.”
At the top of the 4:00PM ET hour of MSNBC Live, co-anchor David Shuster claimed the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll “numbers appear to back up the concerns of mainstream Republicans worried about the impact of birthers, tenthers, and town hall screamers....moderates have been frightened away and party identification has dropped to the lowest level in nearly three decades, since Nixon and Watergate.”
Shuster later introduced a debate segment on the issue, declaring: “if a new poll from the Washington Post and ABC News is any indication, the GOP is in the worst shape it’s been in nearly three decades. Asked which party they identified themselves with, 33% said Democratic while just 20% said Republican.” What he failed to mention was that the poll also showed that those who identified themselves as conservative stood at 38%, a two-point increase from the last poll conducted on September 12. However, liberal identification stood at just 23%, a one-point decrease from the September poll.
In what the White House may consider the latest salvo in a so-called news "war," Fox News reported Friday that President Obama's approval rating has slipped below 50 percent:
Obama's job approval rating comes in at 49 percent this week. That's down just one percentage point from late September, but it marks a new low approval for the president — and the first time the Fox News poll has measured his approval below 50 percent.
That’s 49 percent approval, and 45 percent disapproval. Check out the Polling Report chart: Fox found 50 percent approval and 42 at the end of September – and a 54 to 39 approval-disapproval gap in mid-September. The Fox dispatch began with this statistic:
In what may be the ultimate job rating, 43 percent of voters say that they would vote to re-elect President Obama if the 2012 election were held today, down from 52 percent six months ago, from April 22-23, 2009.
Monday’s CBS Early Show touted a new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll about American cultural attitudes, with CBSNews.com’s Cali Carlin asking co-host Maggie Rodriguez one of the survey questions: "Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Angelina Jolie or Beyonce...Who would you want to swap lives with for a week?" Rodriguez immediately responded: "Hands down, Michelle Obama."
Carlin happily declared that Rodriguez, who had not yet seen the poll results, was "in step with mainstream America." Carlin further explained: "26% of women we surveyed said they’d want to switch with Michelle Obama. In fact overall, Washington beat out Hollywood, surprisingly. So both Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton beat out Angelina Jolie and Beyonce."
The poll had a similar question for men, as Vanity Fair online editor Michael Hogan asked co-host Harry Smith: "Okay, so the choices are George Clooney, Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama, or Tom Brady. So what do you think?" Smith went the Hollywood route: "George Clooney... I mean that’s who I would switch places with. I mean, I know he wants to switch places with me, obviously." Rodriguez joked: "We could arrange that."
The latest New York Times-CBS poll was reported by Adam Nagourney and Dalia Sussman for Friday's front page -- "Public Wary of Obama on War and Health Care, Poll Finds." The news wasn't great for Barack Obama's agenda, though Nagourney, the paper's chief political reporter, performed some helpful spinning for the president.
Revealingly, the poll still gives the president a 56% approval rating, one of his highest recent numbers. The Gallup poll, for example, has him in the low fifties of late, and Rasmussen Reports has him at 51% today.
One possible reason for Obama's relatively high standing is the Times' opaque "poll weighting" methodology. The "weighting" formula applied by the pollsters in this latest poll increased the gap between Democrat and Republican respondents from a "raw" six-point gap in actual respondenst (34%-28% Democrats over Republicans) to a 15-point chasm in the "weighted" final poll (37%-22% Democrats over Republicans).
Baier related how the university in Fairfield, Connecticut also determined “almost 70 percent think the 'media are intent on promoting' his presidency and 56 percent say the 'media are promoting his health care reform agenda without objective criticism.'”
“The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys,” a new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, embargoed for release at 11 PM EDT Sunday night, discovered.
The survey, of 1,506 adults conducted in late July, found “nearly three-quarters (74%) say news organizations tend to favor one side in dealing with political and social issues,” up 21 points from 53 percent 24 years ago, “while just 18% say they deal fairly with all sides.” The percent who perceive the media as liberal versus conservative remains very lopsided, though the difference has increased by 7 points -- from 40 percent vs. 19 percent in 1985 to 50 percent vs. 22 percent now, a 28 point split.
In addition -- surprise, surprise -- “Democrats hold considerably more positive views than Republicans of CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the news operations of the broadcast networks” with “the starkest partisan division...seen in assessments of the New York Times” as “Republicans view the New York Times negatively by a margin of nearly two-to-one (31% to 16%), while Democrats view it positively by an almost five-to-one margin (39% to 8%).”
CNN/Opinion Research Corporation’s poll on President Obama’s health care speech to Congress on Wednesday significantly oversampled Democrats. The pollsters interviewed 427 Americans before and after their speech- only 18% were Republicans, while 45% were Democrats. Due to this skewing, CNN didn’t really play up the poll’s results on air, but they tried to do that on their CNN.com website.
The joint poll asked two questions before and after the speech. The polled were asked, “Do you think the policies being proposed by Barack Obama will move the country in the right direction or the wrong direction?” During the pre-speech period between September 5 and 8, 60% answered “right direction,” and 35% answered “wrong direction.” Immediately after the speech, the pollsters found that the “right direction” statistic went up to 70%, while the “wrong direction” number went down to 27%.
Using a "clever" headline, LiveScience.com, in a report carried at Yahoo News, tries to give those who will only see the headline the impression that Americans are a bunch of dummies who don't understand what's good for them:
Majority of Americans Believe Health Care Reform 'Myths'
Yes, the word "myths" is in quotes, but the reader is left to assume that a credible outfit must be asserting what those "myths" are. But it's actually that less than credible outfit known as "the Obama White House," which claims that those who don't swallow their assertions are subscribing to "myths." The reality is that President Barack Obama and his apparatchiks continue to peddle a set of long-disproved assertions about the kind of health care plan he and the Democratic Congress intend to make law.
The good news is that the American people aren't buying most of what Obama et al are selling:
With “Losing Support” as the on-screen heading, ABC's World News on Friday night certainly made clear how President Obama is losing favor with the American people as his approval level and attitudes toward his health care efforts continue steadily downward so now more are opposed (50 percent) than in favor (45 percent) and he's suffered a 29-point drop in agreement with enacting a “public option.” But ABC's Kate Snow still saw a “glass half full” view as she managed to end with a positive spin for Obama:
It's not all bad news for the President. We didn't find an overwhelming majority against health care reform. Instead, if you look at the glass half full point of view, the country is basically split. About half of Americans still favor reform, and about half still favor a public option.
Also skipped by World News: How, despite the loaded wording in the question referring to those “angrily protesting at town meetings,” a majority (51 percent) considered the protests “appropriate” versus 45 percent who called them “inappropriate.” (Question 16 in the PDF.)
Push Poll: technique in which an individual or organization attempts to influence or alter the view of respondents under the guise of conducting a poll.
By that definition, it sure seems that NBC is push polling on behalf of ObamaCare. On this morning's Today, NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd reported on a new NBC poll that reflected the fact that, according to him, many Americans continue to believe "the myths" about ObamaCare. But Todd reported that the NBC pollsters also gave people "the facts" about ObamaCare. And after hearing those "facts," a majority supported the plan. Sounds like classic push polling.
And what were those "myths" that NBC supposedly busted? That ObamaCare:
The news isn't just that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals nationwide. That's old hat. The big news from Gallup is that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state in the union, including supposedly uberliberal Vermont and Massachusetts.
About the only thing you can conclude about the Agence France-Presse wire service's August 4 "news" item about a health care poll result ("Majority back Obama on health care reform: poll") is that they couldn't find anything more recent than three weeks old to provide the result they were looking for. So AFP went back to a poll done between July 9-13 -- an online one no less. As NewsBusters colleague Noel Sheppard would say, "I kid you not."
The House Democrats' 1,018-page health-care plan wasn't even released until late in the day on Tuesday, July 14. To say that AFP's report and the related poll results are worse than worthless to any current discussions is almost to praise them too much.
Here is a mini-pic of the first several paragraphs presented for fair use, discussion, and repudiation purposes:
Certain MSNBC hosts have been fixated over using the “birthers” to discredit conservatives, highlighting a poll commissioned by the far-left Daily Kos site which found a majority of Republicans (58 percent) either believe Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S. (28 percent) or are not sure he was (30 percent). Chris Matthews led Friday's Hardball with the beliefs of the GOP's “lunatic fringe” and “wack jobs,” but where was MSNBC two years ago ranting about the Democratic Party's “lunatic fringe” and “wack jobs” when a survey discovered a bigger majority of Democrats (61 percent) think or are not sure if President George W. Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks?
Washington Examiner columnist/blogger David Freddoso pointed out a couple of hours earlier, during another MSNBC segment devoted to the Daily Kos poll (his post about his appearance), what Rasmussen Reports found. That poll released on May 4, 2007 determined:
Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.
Barack Obama's many failings are increasingly apparent. Consequently, even the mainstream media are finding it difficult to keep up the facade. So difficult, in fact, that USA Today now deems newsworthy the findings of a 12-person focus group conducted by a longtime Democratic operative.
TOWSON, Md. — President Obama has seen his approval ratings slide, but a dozen independent voters who gathered here for a roundtable discussion about politics were still inclined to give him a break.
The area residents expressed deep worry about the country's direction and a sobering view of the problems ahead. There was also a reservoir of good feeling for a president several referred to familiarly as "Barack."
Asked what he would like to say to Obama, Scott Wood, 35, who has been looking for a job since February, advised: "Don't give up yet; we haven't."
CBS and NBC released new polls Wednesday night which illustrated how the public is moving against President Barack Obama on health care as his overall approval, at least in the NBC survey, fell to its lowest-ever level. But while both networks conveyed the bad news for Obama, NBC's Chuck Todd failed to point out how more now disapprove than approve of Obama's handling of health care, a devastating judgment for Obama, and CBS took time to elaborate on how “the poll also has some good news” for Obama.
“Less than half approve of the way President Obama is handling health care,” Katie Couric announced Wednesday night in reporting on the CBS News/New York Times poll,” but she saw a potential rebound ahead: “So he has some convincing to do. And that took him today to the Tar Heel State.” Chip Reid soon ran through bad news for Obama -- “69 percent of Americans say they're concerned quality of care will diminish...77 percent that their medical costs will rise” -- but then delivered some “good news for the President: 82 percent of Americans agree with him that the health care system is in need of a major overhaul” and “if there's no reform, 75 percent are concerned their costs will go up.” And “66 percent support the public option.”
On NBC, Todd damned with faint praise: “If there is one piece of good news that the White House can take from this is that he's still the most popular politician in the country. But that's part of the problem, he is now viewed as just another politician” as “this campaign for health care...has taken a serious toll.” With a matching graphic on screen, Todd recounted how the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll determined that “for the third straight month, the President's job approval rating has dropped -- from 61 percent in April, to 56 percent in June, to 53 percent now.”
Lawrence O’Donnell failed spectacularly on today’s "Morning Joe" this morning. The Democratic pundit wasn’t alone in that effort, as co-host Mika Brzezinski, and journalists Martin Savidge and Mike Barnicle all failed to correct his gaffe.
Apparently, the MSNBC political analyst is under the impression that Sarah Palin’s selection as Vice President drove down female support for the John McCain ticket – and claims that polling numbers back him up.
On Monday’s Early Show, co-host Julie Chen teased an upcoming story on Sarah Palin’s political future: "Also ahead, the always controversial Sarah Palin remains in the headlines this morning. We're going to tell you what she's now saying about her future plans as well as what she's planning to do right after she leaves office later this month."
Chen teased the story later, again labeling the Alaska Governor as controversial: "We're going to tell you where the controversial Alaska governor is headed once she leaves office." In the report that followed, correspondent Nancy Cordes cited new poll numbers: "According to a new CBS poll out this morning, Sarah Palin faces doubts, even from Republicans, about her ability to be an effective president. Less than 1 in 4 Americans think she has the ability. Among Republicans, only one-third say Palin could be effective."
Cordes went on to describe Palin’s future plans, including an upcoming speech in California: "Her appearance is almost certain to raise speculation about her political ambitions. But some say Palin hasn't done enough to change how people feel about her." After mentioning that Palin was offering to stump for Republican candidates, Cordes observed: "But a couple of Republicans running for governor this year have already appeared cool to the idea of having her in to support them."
Usually the Times team of Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee handle the poll stories, and usually Obama comes off looking great. Perhaps the switch to Zeleny and Sussman helps explains why today's off-lead poll story is less laudatory of Obama, although that might also be a recognition that his numbers aren't quite as favorable this time around.
One thing hasn't changed: The poll's pro-Democrat "weighting" continues. There were complaints in early April, the last time CBS News and the Times teamed up for a poll, that the poll's "weighting" process produced far more self-identified Democrat than Republican respondents, which would certainly tilt the paper's findings to the left.
In that last poll, NYT/CBS managed to turn a eight-point raw Democratic advantage of respondents (35%-27%) into a sixteen-point margin (39%-23%) through its mysterious weighting process. "Weighting" itself is standard polling practice, but the April gap was wide enough to draw questions of pro-Democratic favoritism.
This time around, the gap between the official number and the raw numbers is far wider.
“The honeymoon is coming to an end for President Obama,” NBC's Chuck Todd fretted Wednesday night in summarizing a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. “But,” Todd rebounded, “it's not personal. It's professional as now the public appears to be judging the President on some of his actions.” Citing “growing concern about the budget deficit and some of this government interaction into the economy on things like GM,” Todd empathized with how “Obama is now dealing with a public that is judging him more and more for the actions he's taking, and not just the promises he's made.” Underpinning that theme, NBC put “Down to Business” on screen over video of Obama walking.
Todd declared “a solid majority – 56 percent – approve of the job the President's doing,” though “that's down five points from a month ago.” Nonetheless, Todd assured NBC Nightly News viewers, “the President still is personally well-liked,” but he now must deal with how people “have raised their expectations.” As for “how much the President is taking on, the public clearly approves. 60 percent believe his focus should be on a whole range of issues at once.”