MSNBC's Morning Joe echoed the Drudge Report by displaying the on-screen text "Gallup shock" and selectively citing only one of three findings from an October 13-15 Gallup daily tracking poll of the presidential race -- the one that showed Sen. Barack Obama holding his smallest lead over Sen. John McCain.
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On October 17, MSNBC's Morning Joe echoed the Drudge Report by displaying on-screen text that read, "Gallup shock," and selectively citing only one of three findings from an October 13-15 Gallup daily tracking poll of the presidential race -- the result that showed Sen. Barack Obama holding his smallest lead over Sen. John McCain.
During an interview with NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, co-host Willie Geist asked Mitchell about "the daily tracking poll that shows a two-point lead" -- a finding from the Gallup poll that Obama led McCain by a margin of 49 percent to 47 percent among 2,143 " 'traditional' likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention and past voting behavior)." However, neither Geist nor Mitchell mentioned that the same poll also found that Obama led McCain 49 percent to 43 percent among 2,786 registered voters, and 51 percent to 45 percent among 2,312 "more broadly defined likely voters (based on the model taking into account current voting intention only)." During the discussion, Geist also aired a graphic of Gallup's finding that Obama led McCain by two percentage points among likely voters -- the graphic did not specify that the poll result sampled "traditional" likely voters.
On-screen text during the Morning Joe segment read "Gallup Shock: Likely Voters: Obama 49%, McCain 47%":
Below is the Drudge Report's headline:
From the October 17 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
GEIST: Now, let me ask you about this poll -- this Gallup poll. Make of it what you will. We will look at it the daily tracking poll that shows a two-point lead.
MITCHELL: Don't tell [NBC political director] Chuck Todd I'm doing this.
GEIST: No, I'm not. We told him to turn off the TV. Now, ignore the poll if you want, but isn't it true, Andrea, that this race is much closer than some of the double-digit polls we've been looking at over the last two weeks or so?
MITCHELL: I think that's what a lot of people are saying. And in talking to the people in the campaign -- and you guys do, and Mark talks to everyone in the campaigns -- this thing is volatile, and nobody really knows what people are gonna do when they end up voting. Yes, when you look at the battleground states, there's no question that John McCain is actively defending today, yesterday, and the coming days -- defending what ought to be solidly Republican states, and he has a much bigger stretch in order to make up that gap. And, you see, you know, you see Barack Obama is -- John McCain has to defend these Republican areas where he shouldn't be wasting his time and money, frankly, at this stage, and Barack Obama is reaching out to expand the electoral map. But it could still be very close, and we shouldn't jump the gun.