When Is a 19-Point Gap “Narrow” and a 12-Point Gap “Sizable”? When It’s the L.A. Times Doing the Measuring!
The L.A. Times is reporting that Barack Obama leads John McCain by 12 points in a national poll. (If you toss in Ralph Nader and Bob Barr it’s a 15-point lead.)
Guess how they describe that margin?
Wait! Don’t answer yet.
First, recall that, when a poll found a much larger 19-point lead for opponents of gay marriage, this very newspaper told us:
- voters “slimly reject” gay marriage
- voters “narrowly reject” gay marriage
- voters reject gay marriage by
- a “small margin”
- a “narrow margin”
- “a bit”
- a “bare majority” opposes gay marriage
Remembering that, how do you think the L.A. Times is describing Obama’s much smaller 12-point lead?
A “teensy-tiny margin”? A “wafer-thin gap”? “Not even a majority”?
You guessed it:
Buoyed by enthusiasm among Democrats and public concern over the economy, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has captured a sizable lead over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at the opening of the general election campaign for president, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.
In a two-man race between the major party candidates, registered voters chose Obama over McCain by 49% to 37% in the national poll conducted last weekend.
Sounds like the country is “in play” for McCain!
UPDATE: Another McCain — Robert Stacy McCain — argues that the L.A. Times has oversampled young voters and undersampled the geezers who are more likely to vote for the “older than dirt” McCain. He supports his argument by reference to exit polls from 2004.