If you’ve read my many posts on TMV or my Tweets about polls you’ll remember that I have often pointed out that if partisans don’t like a poll that puts their side in a bad light the FIRST thing they do is start to talk about it having flawed methodology. If that same poll delivered news that was wonderful to them, they would not be questioning the methodology.
And here we have a classic RPT classic case of Team Obama trying to dismiss and a poll that they don’t like…and talk about methodology. The Politico:
The Obama campaign is criticizing today’s New York Times/CBS News poll, which suggests that Mitt Romney is leading among female voters and that two-thirds of voters think Obama supported same-sex marriage “for political reasons.”
Forty-six percent of the 615 surveyed said the would vote for Mitt Romney, against 43 percent for the president. 46 percent of women also said they would vote for Romney, versus 44 for the president.
But the principle issue for the Obama campaign is the motivation behind his support for same-sex marriage: 67 percent of those polled said he made his decision “for political reasons,” against just 24 percent who said he did so because he thinks it is right.
“The methodology was significantly biased,” Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, said on MSNBC this morning. “It is a biased sample.”
This is so blatant an example of how partisans respond to some polls. It’s as if they were reading TMV posts (which they aren’t). But Chuck Todd — who is about as professional an analyst as you’ll find — also has some doubts:
Daily Rundown host Chuck Todd has also noted that the poll doesn’t provide enough data, because it surveys the same group surveryed in an earlier poll, and with a smaller sample size. And the first CBS/NYT poll from April was — as the Obama campaign has stressed — something of an outlier, being the only poll other than a Fox News poll that put Romney ahead of Obama.
“[G]iven that this poll was a “call-back survey” — with the respondents first interviewed back in April — it feels like we need more poll data to make sense of all the events of the past two weeks,” Todd wrote on MSNBC’s First Read. (NBC and the Wall Street Journal will be out with their own poll within the next ten days).
But I repeat:
If the poll had shown lopsidded, stunningly high approval for Obama on the same sex marriage issue, do you think the Obama campaign would be complaining about the methodology and trying to get people to ignore it?
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.