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Sunday, October 17, 2010

AP Edited

Poll: Many Obama 2008 supporters defecting to GOP

Poll: Obama's 2008 coalition dispirited and crumbling; GOP stands to benefit on Election Day

AP News

Oct 17, 2010 08:38 EDT


_76 percent of Obama voters say they will support the Democrat in their House district, while 8 percent plan to back the Republican and the rest are undecided.

_71 percent of McCain voters say they will vote for the Republican in their House district, while 9 percent plan to get behind Democrats and 20 percent haven't chosen a candidate.

Yes you read that correctly. The headline says Obama supporters are defecting to the GOP and the actual data from the actual poll show a larger fraction of Obama supporters intend to vote for Democrats than McCain supporters intend to vote for Republicans.

The argument is 76<71 and in fact 71 is about equal to 100.

update: Oh my Golly Gee. The bias in the article is vastly vastly more extreme than I imagined possible. "they've released the Congressional Generic ballot number. And it actually has the Dems up by 5 points."

end update.

Clearly the respondents didn't give the correct answer. Liz Sidoti just knows what the US people think and she isn't going to let some anonymous poll respondents mess up her story. I mean the ignorant buffoons haven't checked the story line. Who needs them.

The skipped part is worse than the headline. It is easy to give readers the impression that public opinion is the opposite of the opinions reported in polls, because quotes are much more interesting than numbers. Sidoti quotes two people who voted for Obama and intend to vote for Republicans. 8% of Obama voters declare an intention to vote for Republicans. The roughly 4% of total respondents who have the correct views (as judged by Sidoti) are the only ones she quotes.

The article is basically a massive lie. The headline is a false claim on a matter of fact. It should be corrected.

The actual situation is that the Republicans are going to win more seats because many people who voted for Obama won't vote in the mid terms. In large part this is due to disappointment, but it was inevitable. There hasn't been a pattern of Republicans doing much better than Democrats in mid terms, but there also hasn't been such a huge difference in political attitudes of the young and the old. It has always been true that the fraction of voters who are young is much lower in mid terms than in Presidential years. The change in partisan affiliation by age means that this mid term will be much better for Republicans than the last Presidential year. This is a separate issue from disappointment in Obama.

Also, the results of the poll absolutely scream that the disappointment will hurt Democrats by preventing people who would vote for Democrats to stay home and not by convincing them to vote Republican.

I wonder if Sidoti and the headline writer can read arabic numerals. Actually I'm pretty sure about the headline writer. I think it is clear that he or she just read the first few paragraphs which quoted Obama supporters who are defecting to Republicans and didn't read the number 8%. Thus the headline shows how successfully misleading the article is. I am assuming that all claims of fact in the article are technically true and note that someone whose job is to summarize the article clearly came away with a totally demonstrable false impression.

Does anyone have any explanation of why the AP employs Liz Sidoti ? I ask for information. I don't think the aim of top AP management is to deceive the public. If it were, their personel policy would make sense, but I just don't believe it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know about "Sprinkles", right?

The recent AP boss had all kinds of problems too.