CNN Distorts 60 Min./Vanity Fair Poll About Sarah Palin
posted at 1:29 pm on August 30, 2010 by Legal Insurrection
The headline of the day at CNN is TRENDING: Clear majority says Palin not qualified to be president (emphasis mine):
Two days after Sarah Palin fired up a large crowd at Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally in Washington, a newly released survey suggests a clear majority of Americans don’t think the former vice presidential nominee has the right credentials to be president.
According to the new survey from Vanity Fair and CBS News’ 60 Minutes, only 1 in 4 of all adults thinks Palin is qualified to be commander-in-chief while 60 percent say she is not.
This description of the poll is an outright fabrication. The actual poll question had nothing to do with credentials, qualifications, or even electability. Here was the actual question: “Do you think SARAH PALIN would have the ability to be an EFFECTIVE PRESIDENT?”:
Similarly distorted versions are all over the internet, in which the authors misread the actual question asked, and use it to opine on Palin’s qualifications or election prospects.
Time Magazine’s Swampland blog, which partners with CNN, asks the headline question Could Palin Be President? (emphasis mine):
A new poll suggests not. Only one in four Americans consider her qualified to be commander in chief, with 60 percent sure that she is not qualified. Those are awful numbers and I’m one who thinks the prospects of a Palin presidency are, for the moment, quite unlikely.
Again, there is no truth to the characterization that the poll concerned qualifications or election prospects.
(added) Whether someone would be an “effective” president could turn on a number of factors, including the strength of opposition. On that account, given pervasive Palin Derangement Syndrome in the media, as witnessed by the CNN article linked above, Palin may have trouble being an “effective” president.
These Vanity Fair polls are a joke; there are few choices given to the interviewees, there is no depth of questioning, and they mix pop culture questions (such as Which word is overused the most?) in with political questions.
That said, at least accurately report the question and the context.
Which is what HuffPo did, by also noting other polls on Palin’s prospects:
While the 2012 election is a long way off and poll numbers are difficult to interpret, in one recent poll of potential 2012 matchups, conducted Aug. 6-9 by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, 43% of registered voters said they would support Palin to 49% for Obama.
HuffPo more fair than CNN and Time Magazine. It has come to this.
Cross-Posted with updates at Legal Insurrection Blog