With a 24 hour news cycle and the constant need for content and spin by all campaigns, polls are red meat to both consultants and pundits, who, if not pleased with results, can wait another day for another poll that will likely say something entirely different.
Odds are, the CBS/New York Times poll released early this week was that “something entirely different.”
The poll offered a lot of fodder for conservative media and Mitt Romney backers. It showed Romney ahead of President Barack Obama nationally and, in a bizarre twist, claimed that Romney leading among women — when most other polls claim is the complete opposite is true.
But the “women” factor isn’t the only issue with the poll. There is a long line of internal contradictions that simply don’t make sense, such as how can the President have a 50 percent approval rating, yet have him behind 43 to 46 in a head to head matchup with Romney?
Many wonder if the problem was the way the survey was conducted — those who were surveyed last week had been surveyed already once before in April. That also made for a fairly small sampling, too, which has to potential to increase errors or make anomalies into trends.
Is the poll too flawed to be useful? Potentially. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be used extensively to support conservative talking points.
Photo credit: Jessica Rinaldi