Galloping Away from Gallup Polls That Show GOP on the Upswing

The cover story of Tuesday's USA Today blared "Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states." Susan Page reported a new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states found "the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by five points." GOP voters were also found to be more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election, and more convinced the outcome matters. ABC, CBS, NBC coverage? None.

Gallup also found "Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession." Network coverage? None. On Wednesday morning's Early Show CBS reporter Jan Crawford found only the Gallup result that would discourage Republicans:

She said "there are other signs that Gingrich's support is eroding. I mean, remember, he kind of came out of nowhere, for someone's who been around forever. Everyone had written him of for dead, just like you said, Jeff. Negative ads started coming, opponents are starting to pile on -- the latest Gallup poll actually shows his support is going down."

On Good Morning America Wednesday, reporter John Berman did announce the ABC poll showed Obama was down 31 points from the start of his term, but then turned to dismissing Republicans:

The President has never been this unpopular in our polls ever. But if it's any consolation to him, voters seem to dislike a whole lot else, too....The President's campaign guru, David Axelrod, says they're betting infighting between the Republicans will soften up whoever wins. Videos like this overnight from Mitt Rodney's camp, ridiculing Newt Gingrich's efforts to fight climate change. As Axelrod says of Newt Gingrich, "The higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt." And forgive us, some voters don't seem to like the view.

On NBC's Today, Chuck Todd insisted "the two Republican candidates have a similar electability problem. For Mitt Romney, his electability problem is with conservatives. For Newt Gingrich, the problems are with swing voters in the general election." While the Gallup poll found a “resurging” GOP, Todd was finding something else with their poll: "And one other thing we found in our poll is that Republicans aren't impressed with the candidate field. 51 percent call it average, 27 percent call it strong, 21 percent call it weak, Matt."

Some networks reported the Gallup poll on swing states. USA Today's Susan Page, who wrote the front-page article, mentioned it on the PBS NewsHour Monday night. CNN political analyst John Avlon reported the numbers on Erin Burnett Outfront, and Ari Fleischer mentioned it to Anderson Cooper on his show. NPR did not (at least in the transcripts offered to Nexis, which don't include top-of-the-hour news updates.)

Even the top newspapers barely touched the swing-states poll. The Washington Post noted it Wednesday in paragraph 17 of an article carrying the headline "Obama campaign sees reasons for optimism."

David Brooks cited both Gallup numbers on the New York Times Opinionator blog in a discussion with liberal Gail Collins: 

BROOKS:  Did you see the poll showing Obama losing to both Romney and Gingrich in the 12 swing states? Did you see the Gallup chart that has been making the rounds that many, many more people fear big government than big business?

COLLINS:  The one thing I am totally confident about in this uncertain world is that the more the public gets acquainted with Mitt and Newt, the more those numbers will change to the president's advantage. To know them is to yearn to vote for somebody else.

Only CNN commentator Jack Cafferty mentioned Gallup's Big Government poll on the liberal TV networks. The Washington Post published a short piece Thursday by Republican Ed Rogers that mentioned it.

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