I thought the Gingrich Campaign and bloggers like Right Wing Nut were desperate, but Susan Page of USA Today takes the cake for furiously trying to downplay the latest Swing States Poll results of head-to-head matchups of President Obama against GOP contenders Mitt Romney, Newt Ginrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.
In her headline, Ms Page claims Obama and Romney are tied, while Gingrish trails. Then in the lead paragraph, Ms. Page writes:
"Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney essentially ties Barack Obama in the nation's top dozen battlegrounds, a USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States survey finds, while rival Newt Gingrich now trails the president by a decisive 14 percentage points."
(Emphasis mine, and you will soon see why.)
Finally in paragraph 4, we to the numbers of the Obama-Romney match-up, which Ms. Page describes thusly....
"In a head-to-head race, Romney leads Obama by a statistically insignificant percentage point, 48%-47%, the survey finds. Romney's support hasn't wavered from his standing in early December, while Obama's standing against him has risen by four percentage points."
I don't know about you, but in a contest, when one enity leads or beats another, even by one point, it's classified as LEADING, Leads or better yet BEATS.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Swing State Poll, it is a survey of voters across 11 battleground or swing states, which have been identified as historically being those which have decided many past Presidential elections. USA Today polls these states periodically, as does the Purple Poll. I find the Purple Poll more reflective, due to the fact they actually poll each state in the Battleground classification.
In any event, it struck me as prematurely desperate of Ms. Page to try and downplay so heavy-handedly, Gov. Romney's "insignificant" percentage point victory. But maybe they are really worried about Romney natural appeal to Independents, a voter base which has soured on Obama.
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