Monday, 12 December 2011

POLL DANCING

Ken Berwitz

Michael Hayne, who, among other things, is a left wing writer for a left wing web site (addictinginfo.org) has written a short blog in which he gloatingly insults Fox & Friends, along with the overall Fox News Channel.

No surprise there.

Here is Hayne's first paragraph:

The fembots and mannequins at Fox & Friends, the horrific pretend news hour that consists of vapid banter that makes Good Day NY look like PBS News Hour, were flabbergasted by one of their own polls that showed their viewers overwhelmingly believing President Obama would beat Republicans Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Not what you'd call a neutral assessment.....

But the funny part is that Hayne is identical to the Fox & Friends crew in one major respect:  he, and they, are completely misreading the poll data.

If you click here and read what it actually says, you will find that:

-According to the poll, Barack Obama beats Mitt Romney by 2% (44% - 42%) and Newt Gingrich (46% - 40%).  In both cases Mr. Obama is well below the key 50% mark - and this is before either candidate a) has campaigned solely against Obama or b) has had the entire Republican campaign apparatus working on his behalf, as Obama has with Democrats.

-Specifically dealing with who respondents think will win the election, 44% believe it will be Obama and 37% believe it will be a Republican, whomever that Republican might wind up being.

So where did Hayne get his "facts"?  

He pulled them from the same place the (embarrassingly uncomprehending) Fox & Friends people did:  A single question within the poll, which asked which individual person would win the election:  not Obama head-to-head against individual opponents, but Obama (the only Democrat choice) on a list with the entire group of Republicans, who, of course, split up the total Republican responses.

The front-runners, not surprisingly, do best:  Gingrich gets 16% and Romney 15%.  But 19% indicate they  "Don't know" - a very logical answer, given that they do not know who the final choices will be.  See for yourself, by clicking here and scrolling to question 40.

Shame on the Fox & Friends hosts for not understanding their own network's polling.

And shame on Michael Hayne for gleefully jumping all over the same data just as inaccurately, complete with personal insults directed at the Fox people. 

Maybe, before insulting their reaction to a poll, he should learn how to read one.


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