The Corner

New York Times: It’s Just a Poll. Nothing to See Here.

The New York Times reports today that President Obama’s approval rating has dipped to 41 percent, with 47 percent disapproving of the job that the president is doing. Not to worry, says the Times. Their own poll can’t really be trusted, according to the story covering the poll:  

Yet, polls capture only a particular moment in time, and can be influenced by the way questions are asked or the mix of people who are surveyed. In The Times/CBS News poll, the margin of sampling error could mean the president’s approval rating is as high as 44 percent or as low as 38 percent, at a 95 percent confidence level.

Of course, that statement is true, just as it was when President Bush’s approval ratings were suffering. You remember all of those similar disclaimers when the newspaper of record was hammering away at President Bush’s falling approval ratings, don’t you?

As Ramesh noted last night, the Times poll also asked about the contraception mandate, and its poll results apparently didn’t fit the editors’ narrative: 

In the head-to-head matchups, Mr. Obama also maintained much of the advantage he had built in the last year among important constituencies, including women, although he lost some support among women over the past month, even as the debate raged over birth control insurance coverage.

How can that possibly be? He’s losing support with women “even as” he is fighting a war with religious freedom and providing free contraceptives to all? Why wouldn’t all women swoon over such attention to their interests? Perhaps Kathryn can answer.


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