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No Bias Here? The Associated Press Strikes Again!

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No Bias Here? The Associated Press Strikes Again!

CREATED Mar 27, 2012

Here's the headline that appears on our website: "Marquette poll shows Romney leading Wisconsin; Walker even with Falk, Barrett".   The story is by the Associated Press - an organization that can, from time to time, raise political bias to an art form.

The AP story says that, according to the new poll, Tom Barrett leads Kathleen Falk 36% to 29%.  The story goes on to say; "The poll shows Walker is about even with both Barrett and Falk".  

The truth is that the poll shows Governor Walker leading Barrett 47% to 45% and leading Falk 49% to 45%.  I guess you could say that Walker and Barrett are "about even"  but Falk is behind by 4 points - which isn't "about even".

I wonder when in the opinion of the writer for the  AP that a candidate goes from "about even" (a 4 point spread) to being "ahead" (Barrett's 7 point spread over Falk).

I also wonder how the AP would have written the story had Walker been behind?  Actually, I think I know the answer.  Want to bet the headline would have screamed "Walker trails both Democratic challengers"?

Candidly, the coverage of the poll in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is much fairer and more accurate than the coverage by the AP. 

By the way, the other interesting item in the poll (again not mentioned by the AP) is that Scott Walker has an approval rating of 50% (up from February). Given all the commotion of the past year, for Walker to be maintaining a 50% approval rating is almost amazing - and a real positive for the Governor going into the recall process.

Don't expect to see that analysis from the Associated Press however.