Soledad O’Brien had Virginia governor Bob McDonnell on her CNN show this morning, and per usual, she marshaled an impressive array of facts, in the interests of tough and fair journalism, to take him to task about Romney’s chances in Virginia. For instance, I bet the good governor didn’t know Obama is up 15 points in the Commonwealth:
The chyron on the screen provides the actual explanation of her number: Obama, according to one poll, is up 15 points with women (that poll, by Quinnipiac, had Obama up five points overall). The last three polls in the RCP average, as McDonnell reminds O’Brien, have Romney in the lead.
A spokesperson e-mailed Politico to explain that O’Brien thought that, “while the information on the screen said ‘women,’ I didn’t say the word. I was in error to not say the word ‘women,’ while it appeared on the screen.” But this explanation doesn’t really scan: She made no indication that she was referring to a lead in a specific demographic group (saying Obama “is up 15 points in the state of Virginia,” and claimed “the polls show a significant lead”). Presumably she doesn’t really think that Obama is up 15 points in Virginia’s electorate, but the fact that she fumbled and brought the number up anyway in service of a highly dubious argument (that Obama has a “significant lead” there) is yet another occasion of her pretending to be the non-partisan moderator who challenges a Republican viewer with some cold hard facts, and instead rattling off Obama-campaign talking points.