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June 22, 2004
WaPo/ABC Poll: Skip It

The new Washington Post/ABC Poll released yesterday is yet another poorly sampled poll in a season full of pretenders. In this case, the WaPo/ABC sample was not the most reliable type, likely voters, or even registered voters; it was the least reliable indicator of elections, "randomly selected adults":

Public anxiety over mounting casualties in Iraq and doubts about long-term consequences of the war continue to rise and have helped to erase President Bush's once-formidable advantage over Sen. John F. Kerry concerning who is best able to deal with terrorist threats, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Exactly half the country now approves of the way Bush is managing the U.S. war on terrorism, down 13 percentage points since April, according to the poll. Barely two months ago, Bush comfortably led Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee, by 21 points when voters were asked which man they trusted to deal with the terrorist threat. Today the country is evenly divided, with 48 percent preferring Kerry and 47 percent favoring Bush.

One has to wonder why large media organizations would go out of their way to conduct an election poll by using the least reliable sample. It's not like their pollsters were too busy to limit responses to likely voters. In fact, out of 1201 adults polled for this study, only 1015 of them described themselves as registered voters, meaning that they were asking the question. It shows that 18.3% of their sample are ineligible to vote, undermining the credibility of their conclusions and the pollster's motivations.

Based on this data, it appears that the Post and ABC conducted a poll for a specific result, trying to drive the story they want to write. Their results differ wildly from other polling from more reliable samples, which show Bush ahead by a thin margin (Pew) or more substantial (the somewhat-suspect Harris Poll). Once again, we have news organizations more interested in making the news up rather than reporting reality.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 22, 2004 5:35 AM

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