CNN anchor touted outdated Ohio poll showing Bush lead; ignored recent polls showing Kerry lead


On October 19, CNN Live Today anchor Rick Sanchez continued the network's disturbing trend of touting polls that show favorable results for President George W. Bush and ignoring polls that show a lead for Senator John Kerry. Discussing the battle for Ohio, Sanchez noted a Columbus Dispatch poll that showed Bush with a seven-point lead in that swing state, and CNN provided viewers with a graphic explaining the poll. But as the show's guest, Columbus Dispatch political reporter Alan Johnson pointed out to Sanchez, that poll is "several weeks old." Meanwhile, Sanchez ignored more recent polling that shows Kerry with a lead in Ohio.

From the October 19 edition of CNN Live Today:

SANCHEZ: We're continuing our weeklong look now at battleground states. Alan Johnson is political reporter for The Columbus Dispatch. Hey, Mr. Johnson, thanks so much for being with us.

JOHNSON: Certainly, good morning.

SANCHEZ: Let's look at what your Columbus Dispatch newspaper is reporting as far as its poll is concerned. It has Mr. Bush at 51 percent. It has Senator Kerry at 44 percent. Is that pretty much the pattern that you've been seeing throughout the last couple months?

[Neither Sanchez nor the on-screen graphic indicated when the poll was conducted.]

JOHNSON: No, that is, at this point, that is old news, unfortunately, because things change so quickly, it's much, much closer than that now. I think --

SANCHEZ: Really? As of when?

JOHNSON: As of the last couple weeks. That poll at this point is several weeks old. So, the numbers have tightened considerably since then.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention.

Indeed, The Columbus Dispatch conducted that poll between September 22 and October 1; it was released on October 3.

Since then, at least five publicly available polls have shown a much closer race in Ohio. The most recent -- the University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll (conducted October 11-17 and released PDF the morning of October 19 -- gives Kerry a 48-46 lead.

Other polls conducted since the Dispatch poll include: a Chicago Tribune poll conducted October 8-11 that showed Kerry with a 49-45 lead over Bush; an American Research Group poll conducted October 4-6 that showed Kerry with a 48-47 lead; Rasmussen's October 16 daily tracking poll that showed Bush with a 49-47 lead over Kerry; and Zogby International's October 5 poll that showed Kerry and Bush tied with 49 percent each.

2004 Elections
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