Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Watch Us Spin The News

CNN reports on a telephone poll of 1,001 adult Americans that was conducted June 1-6 by Harris Interactive with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The headline CNN chose was:

Poll: Clinton gets high 'no' vote for 2008


47 percent of respondents said they would "definitely vote against" Hillary Clinton.

But, these headlines would've fit equally as well:

Poll: Jeb Bush gets highest 'no' vote for 2008

63 percent of respondents said they would "definitely vote against" Jeb Bush (higher than Clinton).

Poll: Al Gore gets high 'no' vote for 2008

48 percent of respondents said they would "definitely vote against" Al Gore (higher than Clinton).

Poll: Kerry gets high 'no' vote for 2008

47 percent of respondents said they would "definitely vote against" John Kerry (equal to Clinton).

On the other side:

Poll: Clinton gets highest 'yes' vote for 2008

22 percent said they would "definitely vote for" Hillary Clinton.

Poll: Giuliani gets high 'yes' vote for 2008

19 percent said they would "definitely vote for" Rudolph Giuliani.

I don't endorse any of these outcomes, but it just goes to show how easy it is to manipulate the results of any poll with a simple headline.

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