CNN lets GOPer lie about CNN poll on CNN


From Talking Points Memo:

Wolf's guest, GOP operative Rich Galen, said the following about CNN's numbers on support for withdrawal timetables:

"Sixty-one percent in that same poll said that they -- they disagreed with a timeline. They agreed with benchmarks. But 61 percent of the American people disagreed with them...when it comes down to the crunch, paying for the soldiers, paying -- paying the bills to continue this war against terrorism, that's 61 percent of the American people."
Wolf didn't challenge this in any way.

Wolf! The man is deceiving your viewers about your own network's poll. After all, CNN's survey showed that 57% support withdrawal timelines. Galen says 61% opposes them. But 57 plus 61 equals 118. My rudimentary understanding of mathematics tells me that the maximum number for a percentage is 100.

In reality, the poll actually found that 41%, not 61%, opposes timetables. The 61% Galen was referring to was the number that backs an approach that uses benchmarks without timetables, as Galen also pointed out. But it emphatically does not refer to the number that opposes timetables -- again, 41% -- when people are directly asked about them. The overarching political reality that there's solid majority support both for an approach that uses timetables (57%) and for an approach that uses only benchmarks (61%). Galen, for obvious reasons, was trying to obscure this reality. That's why he conflated the numbers the way he did.

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