It’s been a long hard fought political war – for years the folks over at the Civitas Institute have been racing the liberals at Public Policy Polling (who seem to be able to churn out a poll every five minutes) to see who could bombard the newspapers with the most propaganda disguised as polling.
Not long ago the Civitas Institute gained the upper hand when the New York Times reported that PPP’s polls had a “house effect” (which is a nice way to say a bias) favoring Democrats. But then, unfortunately, the wheel came off Civitas’ cart too. They released a poll showing Mitt Romney with a ten point lead (53% to 43%) over Barack Obama in North Carolina which sounded fine – until a reporter spotted a glitch: The poll had 30% of the African-Americans voting for Mitt Romney over Obama.
This is all more or less politics as usual but it may have added a new aphorism to the American lexicon. For years we’ve heard, “The check’s in the mail” and “Don’t worry, you won’t get pregnant” – now PPP and Civitas have also given us, “Our scientific poll shows…”