Friday, July 14, 2006

Bad Math

Under the AP headline, "Most Americans Plan to Vote for Democrats"

The first paragraph is misleading, almost to the point of lying.

Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November. With
less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen
years of Republican rule.

The poll numbers do not support the 3-1 claim. Yes,
only 27 percent approved of the way Congress is doing its job. Lawmakers get
favorable marks from 36 percent of conservatives, 28 percent of moderates and 17
percent of liberals.

But that 3-1 margin is not how many want to see Democrats control Congress.

The AP-Ipsos survey asked 789 registered voters if the election for the House
were held today, would they vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in
their district. Democrats were favored 51 percent to 40 percent.
Democrats also held the advantage among persuadable voters _ those who are
undecided or wouldn't say whom they prefer. A total of 51 percent said they
were leaning Democrat, while 41 percent were leaning Republican.

One bright spot for the GOP is that Republicans hold an advantage over
Democrats on issues such as foreign policy and fighting terrorism _ 43
percent to 33 percent _ and a smaller edge on handling Iraq _ 36 percent to
32 percent.

The poll of adults had a margin of error of 3 percentage points and the
survey of registered voters had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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