Once again, LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm doesn't know how to read polling data

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Ugh, we've been down this bumpy road before. In fact, not that long ago, the Times had to run a correction because, as Media Matters pointed out to his editor, Malcolm had butchered some polling data in order to make his darling, Sarah Palin, look really, really popular. (She isn't.)

Well, time to roll out the latest Malcolm polling train wreck. And frankly, after watching pileup after pileup, it's hard to imagine that all these polling blunders (which always favor Republicans) are innocent mistakes.

Covering Obama's Q&A yesterday with Democrats, Laura Bush's former flack wrote [emphasis added]:

Today the president went before the Democratic Senate Policy Committee, a hometown crowd, some of them worried by the president's poll drops and loss of agenda control, especially those running this year in what appears to be developing as a political climate receptive to change people can believe in -- for Republicans.

And so, speaking of the devil, Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader with a lot of money and trouble back home in Nevada, makes sure in this session to give TV face time to some similarly troubled colleagues -- Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Michael Bennet of Colorado and the old ex-GOP guy from Pennsylvania.

According to Malcolm, Gillibrand is facing trouble "back home," just like Reid and Lincoln, among others. But in truth, Malcolm is just making stuff up.

Because according to the most recent polling, here's how much trouble the senator faces "back home":

According to these numbers, Gillibrand's job approval rating is 42-38 - her highest score since she was tapped last January by Gov. David Paterson to fill former Sen. Hillary Clinton's vacant seat.

But her favorability is 33-22, with 44 percent still saying they haven't heard enough about her to form an opinion.

Gillibrand leads her potential primary challenger, Harold Ford Jr., 38-18 with 40 percent of Democrats undecided. Either Gillibrand or Ford would easily defeat the lone announced GOP US Senate candidate, Bruce Blakeman. (44-27 for her, 35-26 for him).

From Monday:

Kirsten Gillibrand, at least, will have her blood pressure reduced by the knowledge that she is still ahead of former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. by a wide margin in a head-to-head matchup, 44 percent to 27 percent. (Labor activist Jonathan Tasini nabs 4 percent.) Since the previous Marist poll in mid-January, Gillibrand has gained a point while Ford gained 3 percent in that contest.

And going back a bit, here's the Gillibrand polling results from two weeks ago:

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) would crush former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.) in a Senate primary matchup, according to a new Siena Research Institute poll out Monday.

Gillibrand commands 41 percent to Ford's 17 percent in the poll, which places labor organizer Jonathan Tasini in third, with 5 percent.

When I grow up, I want to be an LA Times blogger, so I can make stuff up for a living.

UPDATED: BTW, If Malcolm doesn't get paid by Palin for his incessant cheerleading, he ought to. I mean, honestly, if he wants a job as a Palin flack, can't he just ask her privately rather than auditioning in public? It's just embarrassing to watch:

Unlike most of her party's stiff-suited talking heads on Capitol Hill, Palin connects with millions of regular Americans who know about hunting and union husbands working two jobs and going to church and the thrill of snowmobiling and family hurdles like Downs syndrome and teen pregnancy.

UPDATED: While hyping Palin's supposedly brilliant decision to speak at the Tea Party convention this weekend, Malcolm dutifully plays dumb about the mountain of controversy surrounding it -- controversy from within the Tea Party movement itself.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.