MoveOn Goes After Brokaw for Citing False Polling
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On last Sunday's Meet The Press , Tom Brokaw closed down the show's Battle of the Campaign Flacks by deflecting the crux of David Axelrod's Iraq-judgement argument with poll numbers that he had at the ready:
MR. AXELROD: What has happened is, as Senator Obama predicted from the beginning, that we got distracted in Iraq and now Osama bin Laden, who was the person who attacked the United States, killed 3,000 American citizens, is now resurgent. He is stronger. And that's the result of the misbegotten decision of John McCain. And he stubbornly wants to continue, even as the Iraqis won't take responsibility, sitting on $79 billion of their own surplus while we spend $10 billion a month. It doesn't make sense. We can't take more of the same, Steve.
MR. BROKAW: In fairness to everybody here, I'm just going to end on one note, and that is that we continue to poll on who's best equipped to be commander in chief, and John McCain continues to lead in that category despite the criticism from Barack Obama by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
These numbers sure seemed to blunt Axelrod's argument, but they also seemed to run counter to the polling taken immediately following the "foreign policy debate," in which result after result - in a manner confounding to the press, who initially had settled into the stance that the debate was a "tie" or a slight edge to Senator John McCain ( not without exceptions) - indicated that the viewing public favored Senator Barack Obama's performance in the debate. As it turns out, those numbers weren't made up out of whole cloth, but they were certainly out of date.
Jason Linkins is an associate editor at the Huffington Post, based in Washington, DC.