Sloppy Reporting from the New York Times


The New York Times is having difficulty correctly reporting the results of their own poll today.  The headline of the article reads “No Poll Boost from Edwards.”  Yet the poll results show the Kerry/Bush numbers (including Nader as an option) changing from 42/ 43 to 45/42 between late June and last week.  That’s a four point shift in support, which is greater than the poll’s 3% margin of error.  Toward the end of the article they also include the following contradictory statements:


The Times/CBS News poll, like other recent polls, found the race to be close, within its margin of error. In a head-to-head matchup, the Kerry-Edwards ticket was supported by 49 percent of registered voters, and a Bush-Cheney ticket by 44 percent… [The poll] has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Okay, it’s true that Kerry’s lead is within the margin of error when Nader is included,  but it’s not when Nader is excluded, so the blanket statement that the race is “within its margin of error” is misleading, or at least sloppy.