Have Democrats leaped to an eleven-point registration advantage in the last five weeks? In early June, a CBS News poll showed a D/R/I sample of 30/30/40, which undersampled both parties slightly in favor of independents, even weighting it to slightly favor Republicans. In their latest poll today on the debt ceiling debate, CBS offers one of its most egregious poll samples in recent memory to pursue the “public blames the GOP” meme:
Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their resistance to raising taxes.
President Obama earned the most generous approval ratings for his handling of the weeks-old negotiations, but still more people said they disapproved (48 percent) than approved (43 percent) of what he has done and said. …
Approval drops to 31 percent for the Democrats in Congress, and only 21 percent of the people surveyed said they approved of Republicans’ handling of the negotiations, while 71 percent disapprove.
Gee, a 10-point difference, huh? What a coincidence! Let’s take a look at the sample:
Note that the original survey had a seven-point advantage for Democrats, which would be equal to the difference in the 2008 presidential election’s national popular vote. CBS then weighted the survey to give an even further advantage to Democrats, mainly by lopping off almost three points and splitting it evenly between Democrats and independents. That leaves Republicans with less than 24% representation in a poll that’s supposed to measure national political sentiment.
In fact, the remainder left to the GOP ensures that no reliable conclusions can be made about Republican sentiment, either. A poll of 193 adults — not registered or likely voters — is too small a sample for reliable conclusions about national political currents. This poll is a complete waste of time, and about the only conclusion one can reach is that CBS tried very hard to get a sample that would support its preconceived notions of the debate.
Update: Guy Benson finds a little fabulism in the CBS report, too, emphasis his:
“Americans are unimpressed with their political leaders’ handling of the debt ceiling crisis, with a new CBS News poll showing a majority disapprove of all the involved parties’ conduct, but Republicans in Congress fare the worst, with just 21 percent backing their resistance to raising taxes.”
There is absolutely zero statistical evidence supporting this claim, yet it’s enshrined in CBS’ opening graf. Yes, only 21 percent of the public (based on the skewed sample — see points 1 and 2) approve of Congressional Republicans’ handling of the debt negotiations, but the poll itself does not mention the word “taxes” — or even the more Democrat-friendly term, “revenues.” As established in point three above, CBS’ poll doesn’t ask why Americans disapprove of the GOP’s approach to this issue. And yet, this fact didn’t stop CBS from simply inventing and assigning a reason — which conveniently aligns with the Democrat-media complex’s established meme: These damned intransigent Republican wingnuts are nihilistic extremists!