Tuesday, September 07, 2004
 
Media Lies--Bush Gains Are Minimal
For months now, the corporate media has been calling the Presidential race a tie--falsely, as reported in the most edition of Random Lengths News, "Kerry On Top: Don't Believe the Tripe." Kerry has held decided lead in the Presidential race since last May, particularly if one looks to the battleground states and the Electoral College, where the election will be decided. His lead slipped some in late August, and was expected to vanish temporarily in light of the Republican National Convention (RNC), only to re-emerge by mid-September.

Immediately after the RNC, we got the flip-side of long-time corporate media lie: a tie no longer, with Bush bursting far ahead. Time Magazine wrote, "For the first time since the Presidential race became a two person contest last spring, there is a clear leader, the latest TIME poll shows," and then went on to report an 11-point Bush lead over Kerry in a three-man race with Nader. Newsweek followed just after with a similar finding.

Both the polls and the spin were wrong. They were conducted during the convention--a big no-no--and produced internal results that immediately called them into question. Newsweek's sample was 38 percent Republican and 31 percent Democratic--ludicrously out-of-line with both long-term and short-term historical trends. With a more realistic breakdown--29 percent Republican and 33 percent Democratic--Bush's lead would be cut in half (or less, in a 2-person race). Taking the poll after the convention would show even greater erosion.

And so it did. Gallup's first poll after the convention showed a mere 2-point bounce--the lowest ever for an incumbent President since Gallup started measuring them. Among registered voters, this puts him just one point ahead of Kerry--49 percent to 48 percent, a statistical tie. Bush got the same 2-percent bounce among likely voters, where his lead is higher--seven percent--but most experts regard likely voter polls as relatively useless this far from election day. Plus, this year is likely to see millions of unlikely voters show up.

The biggest hurdle Kerry now faces is the hurdle Bush hasn't faced for the last four months--the hurdle of being labeled as behind in the race. Once again, the slacker son of privilege is being cut an enormous break.