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October 22, 2010

Newsweek: America's Back Again, Baby! Democrats Easily Beating Republicans in Congressional Ballot; Obama's Approval Spiking Up*
* Among Registered Voters, Who Nobody But Newsweek Is Polling Anymore

You can't be serious.

And yet they are.

Despite doom-saying about Democrats’ chances in the midterms, the latest NEWSWEEK poll (full results) shows that they remain in a close race with Republicans 12 days before Election Day, while the president’s approval ratings have climbed sharply. The poll finds that 48 percent of registered voters would be more likely to vote for Democrats, compared to 42 percent who lean Republican (those numbers are similar to those in the last NEWSWEEK poll, which found Democrats favored 48 percent to 43 percent). President Obama’s approval ratings have jumped substantially, crossing the magic halfway threshold to 54 percent, up from 48 percent in late September, while the portion of respondents who disapprove of the president dropped to 40 percent, the lowest disapproval rating in a NEWSWEEK poll since February 2010. However, his approval rating, which is notably higher than many recent polls of the president’s popularity, may be evidence of a closing “enthusiasm gap” more than a sea change in voter attitudes, and may not substantially affect Democrats’ fortunes come Election Day.

So, Democrats should be optimistic, huh?

Well... no, not exactly. Even Newsweek must call bullshit on its own bullshit poll, right there in the first paragraph.

In 1994, NEWSWEEK polls showed a similar steep climb in President Clinton’s approval between late September and late October, but Democrats still suffered a rout in the midterms.

Gee wonder why.

Let's see just how desperate Newsweek is for polling that will gladden its cocooned (and tiny) liberal audience...

The new survey also offers a morsel of evidence that Democrats’ strategy of gaining an edge among early voters might be succeeding. They hold a 10-point lead among those who have already voted, 52 points to 42, but because the sample only represents 92 voters out of the 1,005 polled, Hugick says more polling is necessary for a conclusive picture.

Um, dude? That's not even a reportable number. "More polling is necessary?" How about "first polling is necessary?" These microsamples -- well under the generally accepted minimum threshold of 400 for any kind of reliable survey -- are simply not reportable figures. Yes, pollsters will report on such statistically meaningless numbers when their clients insist on it -- he who pays the piper calls the tune, after all -- but they don't put any credence into the numbers themselves.

Newsweek is obviously pressuring the pollster to offer up good news. The pollster halfway complies, but offers a caveat -- um, "more polling is necessary" -- but Newsweek doesn't care.

Its (microscopic) liberal audience needs to know America is Back!

Oh, one more thing. How much faith does their pollster have in the silly figures he cooked up for his client, at their behest?

Pollster Larry Hugick says that while Republicans are still likely to come out on top on Nov. 2, the results of the new poll show it might not be the runaway domination some commenters have suggested.

B-b-but!!! Your poll showed Democrats ahead by five whole points! That means they win, right?!

Um, no. It's a stupid figure. No one's polling registered voters anymore. Might as well poll 10 year olds.

Thanks to DrewM.

Oh: Checking the poll's full results, I see Newsweek did also screen for likely voters. They found Dems ahead of Reps in LVs by 48-45 -- obviously a smaller margin than the 48-42 they found among registered voters.

Why report the registered voter figure if they had a likely voter figure in hand?

Only to get links and sell subscriptions, of course. Liberals want to be cocooned. Not the reality-based community, but a community-based reality.


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posted by Ace at 08:55 PM

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