A new series of New York Times/Sienna College polls showing Democrats leading in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and tied in Nevada were framed as bad news for Democrats.
Here are the polls:
The Nevada race is dead even, a New York Times/Siena poll found. Democrats hold slender leads in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and a stronger one in Arizona. https://t.co/jAWgzNgqDD pic.twitter.com/4H1NI6t5iF
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 31, 2022
This is how The New York Times reported on their polling, “Control of the Senate rests on a knife’s edge, according to new polls by The New York Times and Siena College, with Republican challengers in Nevada and Georgia neck-and-neck with Democratic incumbents, and the Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania clinging to what appears to be a tenuous advantage. The bright spot for Democrats in the four key states polled was in Arizona, where Senator Mark Kelly is holding a small but steady lead over his Republican challenger, Blake Masters.”
In what universe are Democrats leading by 6 points in two Senate races and three in another, bad news for Democrats?
The Times reporting is an example of corporate media having a horserace narrative and sticking to it, no matter what their own data says. They subtracted the margin of error to make the races look closer so that they could sell the story that the Senate hangs in the balance.
The reality is that a margin of error is a plus or a minus, so in the case of the Times poll the margin of error is a relatively high 4.4%, so that means that John Fetterman could be leading Oz by 10.4% or as little as 1.6%, which makes the poll pretty much worthless outside of the fact that no matter how you slice it, John Fetterman is winning in Pennsylvania.
The same fact can be applied to Mark Kelly in Arizona, and applying the margin of error to Georgia, Rev. Warnock could be up by as much as 7.4% or down by 1.6%. Either way, Herschel Walker is unlikely to get to 50%+ on election day and win the seat outright.
These polls are good news for Democrats that The New York Times chose to spin as bad. Such presentation bias is the main reason so many Americans have had enough of big corporate media.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association