Fox News' Rosen misrepresented Hotline poll to suggest majority of Americans may approve of Bush

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen falsely claimed that a recent Diageo/Hotline poll, which shows President Bush's approval rating at 45 percent, could actually be up to seven points higher when the margin of error is taken into account. In fact, the Hotline poll's margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent, meaning that, when factored in, Bush's approval rating could at most be 3.5 percentage points higher.

During the February 28 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson, Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen contrasted a recent CBS News poll -- showing President Bush with a 34-percent approval rating -- with a recent Diageo/Hotline poll (subscription required) that shows Bush's approval rating at 45 percent. Rosen then falsely claimed that Bush's rating could actually be up to seven points higher when the margin of error is taken into account. In fact, the Hotline poll's margin of error is +/- 3.5 percent, meaning that, when factored in, Bush's approval rating could be, at most, 3.5 percentage points higher.

At the outset of the February 28 edition of The Big Story, host John Gibson stated that "a new poll shows the political mess has taken a toll on his [Bush's] approval rating. One survey shows his approval rating now at 34 percent, an all- time low." Rosen replied, "No doubt the poll numbers are not where President Bush would want them to be, but most major surveys put him above 34 percent. The Hotline, for example, has him at 45 percent, with a margin of error that could go up to seven points, meaning theoretically the president could be at 52-percent approval ratings, by the Hotline's guide." While Rosen correctly reported that the Hotline poll, conducted February 16-19, found Bush's approval rating at 45 percent, he misrepresented the margin of error, which was 3.5 points -- not 7 points, as he claimed -- for a range of between 41.5 percent and 48.5 percent, not 52 percent.

From the February 28 edition of The Big Story with John Gibson:

GIBSON: President Bush headed to India and Pakistan, but the White House is still dealing with the outrage over the proposed port deal with the UAE [United Arab Emirates]. Before he left, the president told Americans not to worry about the deal. But a new poll shows the political mess has taken a toll on his approval rating. One survey shows his approval rating now at 34 percent, an all-time low. Fox News correspondent James Rosen, live at the White House with the story -- James?

ROSEN: John, good evening. No doubt the poll numbers are not where President Bush would want them to be, but most major surveys put him above 34 percent. The Hotline, for example, has him at 45 percent, with a margin of error that could go up to seven points, meaning theoretically the president could be at 52 percent approval ratings, by the Hotline's guide.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
James Rosen
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
Stories/Interests
Polling
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