Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

August 1, 2004

Baby Bounce Nonsense

Billbinford left a comment on the Newsweek poll showing Kerry's "baby bounce" after his speech. Thanks for calling my attention to this, Bill. I thought Newsweek deserves to be hung dry in a separate entry.

The article says [emphasis mine]:

Coming out of the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Sen. John Kerry now holds a seven-point lead over President George W. Bush (49 percent to 42 percent) in a three-way race with independent Ralph Nader (3 percent), according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The poll was taken over two nights, both before and after Kerry's acceptance speech. Respondents who were queried after Kerry's Thursday night speech gave the Democrat a ten-point lead over Bush. Three weeks ago, Kerry’s lead was three points.

Kerry’s four-point “bounce” is the smallest in the history of the NEWSWEEK poll. There are several factors that may have contributed to the limited surge, including the timing of the poll. On Thursday, Kerry had just a two-point lead over Bush (47 percent to 45 percent), suggesting that his Friday night speech had a significant impact. Additionally, Kerry’s decision to announce his vice-presidential choice of John Edwards three weeks before the convention may have blunted the gathering’s impact. And limited coverage by the three major networks also may have hurt Kerry.

Do you see what's happening here? The poll was taken the nights before and after the speech. How can a combined pre-speech and post-speech poll reflect an accurate bounce? Their wacky methodology diluted Kerry's ten-point lead post-speech which was the only figure that mattered. On top of that, they get the night of the speech wrong [Friday instead of Thursday night]. Does Newsweek even edit reports before they are published?

Of course the Sunday morning talking heads and the rest of the media who only care for sound bites will not challenge it. They will latch on to this "baby bounce" nonsense and quote it endlessly, no matter how misleading it is.

This is why the news media nowadays generally disgusts me. It's deteriorated into nothing more than an echo chamber, purveyor of inaccuracies, scandal rag, publicity machine or all of the above.

posted at 3:31 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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