Despite the bruising battle over their health care reform proposals, congressional Democrats have maintained an advantage over their Republican counterparts on one key measure, according to a new national poll.A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday indicates that a bare majority of Americans, 51 percent, believe that the Democrats' policies are good for the country, with 46 percent saying that those policies would take the country in the wrong direction.
No where in the entire article on CNN's website or the story being broadcast this afternoon on CNN Headline News does anyone mention how the poll was massaged to produce those results. From the full results linked in the story-
Interviews with 1,160 adult Americans, including an over-sample of African-Americans, conducted by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on December 16-20, 2009. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The sample also includes 259 interviews among African-Americans (plus or minus 6 percentage points) and 786 non-Hispanic whites (plus or minus 3.5 percentage points).Had they mentioned this in the article, it might have given away the fact that this poll is skewed, perhaps intentionally.
10. Do you think the policies being proposed by the Democratic leaders in the U.S. House and Senate
would move the country in the right direction or the wrong direction?
Right Direction Wrong Direction
Dec 16-20 2009 51 46
Blacks 82 16
Whites 42 53
The US Census data for 2008 shows about 13% of Americans call themselves black or African American, yet the CNN poll sampled 22% of its respondents who are black or African American.
So instead of oversampling Democrats vs Republicans, or liberals vs conservatives, CNN found a new way to hide the skewed results of their polling. Just pick a group likely to be favorable to Democrat policies (and loyal to the first black president as well) and double their amount of influence in the poll.
Of course, there is no problem with over sampling any particular group, but that information should be included in the story. Instead, CNN hides the data in the full poll results, probably hoping that not too many people will take the time to click over and read it. Also not mentioned was that the survey talked to all adults, not registered or even likely voters.
Merry Christmas from CNN!