Monday, September 08, 2008

Alternate Reality Headline of the Day: 'McCain, Obama tied in opinion polls'

While technically true based on the first polls they cite, it's more than a bit misleading to pretend Barack Obama is still tied with John McCain in the polls, when all one needs to do is average them out and you have McCain with a fairly significant lead.
Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are dead even in two public opinion polls released on Monday as they head into the final eight weeks of the race for the White House.

The polls were taken Friday through Sunday after last week's Republican convention, which ended on Thursday. A CNN/Time poll showed the race deadlocked at 48 percent, and a Hotline/Diageo poll put the two candidates even at 44 percent.
So Reuters takes the two polls they can find that offer a glimmer of hope to Obama and give those priority over the other three polls showing huge swings the past week. And in one of the two McCain made up nine points in a week.
The CNN/Time poll was largely unchanged from the previous week, when Obama led McCain by 49 percent to 48 percent. The Hotline poll showed a significant convention bounce for McCain, who trailed Obama by 9 percentage points in a poll taken the week before.
Further evidence of how misleading they are is the latest Gallup numbers today showing McCain with a 49-44% advantage, a 13-point swing in one week. Gallup is also being a bit disingenuous by saying McCain got a six-point bounce from the GOP convention. If you look at their numbers, it was 50-42% Obama six days ago. They say McCain was at 43% at the outset of the GOP convention. But that was last Monday, just as everyone was fretting over Hurricane Gustav and talking about postponing the convention (man, how disastrous would that have been?).

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