Setup for a Stolen Election?
AP Poll "Tightens" Race to a Point
The Associated press came out with a remarkable poll Thursday. It claimed that the presidential race had tightened from the consistent leads Obama has shown over the past weeks to become one of those "too close to call" national elections. Their poll, conducted by German polling firm GfK, showed 44% for Obama and 43% for McCain.
How could this be? In the Real Clear Politics average of major national polls, Oct 24, Obama's average lead is 7.5%. The four national polls conducted on the same days as the AP poll show an average 9.2% Obama lead. The polls after the AP "tightening" effort shows an 8.7% Obama lead. Clearly the AP-GfK poll is an exception or outlier, as those are called.
Yet the AP presents this as news, not opinion.
What is AP Up To?
AP acknowledges that its poll is different from the other national polls but claims it's not "alone." It isn't. There is exactly one other poll that agrees with AP out of 16 presented on the Real Clear Politics summary for Oct. 24.
AP ignores the tentative nature of the poll and presents the story as "news." It begins drawing conclusions from the poll at the start of the article with "rumors" from unidentified sources;
"The poll, which found Obama at 44 percent and McCain at 43 percent, supports what some Republicans and Democrats privately have said in recent days: that the race narrowed after the third debate as GOP-leaning voters drifted home to their party and McCain's "Joe the plumber" analogy struck a chord." AP, Oct. 23, 2008
Reviewing the internal details and questions of the poll analysis by GfK, there are no questions about Joe the Plumber. Since this is the opening claim, mentioned again as central to the shift AP is selling us, it's important to look at how the debate was viewed by the public.
CNN and CBS both did national polls the evening of the debate. CNN reported that 58% of those watching the debate thought Obama won, with only 31% favoring McCain. CBS polled uncommitted voters who judged Obama the winner over McCain by 53% to 22%. This was the biggest margin for Obama for the series of three counters. What was going on with the AP sample of voters?
AP's Flawed Poll