S.E. Cupp understates Pelosi's approval rating by 1,000 percent

As we've been documenting of late, Fox News has been on a tear with its anti-reform activism now that the health care reform legislation inches closer to a possible vote in Congress this week. And the one person who has received much of Fox News' ire of late is, of course, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been a favorite target of the right since she ascended to the speakership and whose resignation they continually demand.

Well, today, discussing the “political fallout” from health care on Hannity, The Daily Caller's S.E. Cupp gleefully jumped in to heap additional scorn on Pelosi when Sean Hannity brought up Obama's and Congress' approval ratings; Cupp falsely suggested that Pelosi has a 3 percent approval rating. Cupp announced that a new poll had “Pelosi at 3 -- 3! -- 3!” Hannity interjected: “Percent?” Cupp, laughing, replied: “Yeah -- 3,” adding, “Terrible.” Then she laughed some more.

This 3 percent approval number for Pelosi, however, doesn't in fact exist. From the poll:

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Nancy Pelosi is doing as speaker of the House?

Approve Disapprove (DK)

16-17 Mar 10 31% 57 13

Democrats 56% 28 16

Republicans 9% 83 8

Independents 25% 65 10

Then you get to question 9 of the poll and you start to see the -- how shall I say? -- asinine reasoning by which the 3 percent number became Pelosi's approval number. First, the poll question:

9. Which one of following people do you have the most respect for -- President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, or Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts? (ROTATE)

President Speaker Chief Justice

Obama Pelosi Roberts (All) (None) (Don't know)

16-17 Mar 10 46% 3 37 2 9 3

Democrats 76% 4 12 3 4 2

Republicans 14% 2 67 1 12 4

Independents 48% 2 35 1 11 3

See, only 3 percent of people in this poll had the "most respect for" Pelosi, not approved of the job she is doing as speaker. Either I'm dumb or my powers of comprehension have been impaired by March Madness mania and now both respect and approval mean the same thing.

Bill O'Reilly, who is ... um, very fond of attacking Pelosi, also couldn't help himself tonight, saying on his show: “One poll said -- you know what Nancy Pelosi's approval rating is? Three percent.” But, unlike Cupp, O'Reilly caught himself, quickly putting his hand up and adding, “It's not a straight approval rating question -- it's who do you trust? And they listed Obama, and somebody else, and then Pelosi at 3 percent.”

Final thought: Guess who conducted the poll? Two points if you picked Fox News.