One of the more frustrating things about being an amateur political junkie — and most bloggers understand this — is sitting back and watching those charged with the duty of disseminating information to the electorate botch it.  And I’ve found in my time of being a political junkie that more times than not this misrepresentation of information has something to do with polling.

Why is Craig writing about this, you ask?  A month or so ago, Newsweek put forth poll results that were quite shocking; they possibly even reached outlier status.  Obama was ahead of McCain 51-36.  Now I did blog about that big lead, cautiously labeling it a possible indicator of a landslide.  But many other polls, including the Gallup tracking poll, have shown this to be a much tighter race than what Newsweek had measured.

So, surprise, surpise — Newsweek has released their July poll, showing a much tighter race, with Obama up on McCain by three points, 44-41.  What could have happened?

Well, we can go with the conventional wisdom (which, lately, is never a safe bet).  Much of the media is wringing their hands, postulating that Obama’s support has completely collapsed.  Traditional media and even Political Wire — which disappoints me — is completely ignoring the rather outlandish June poll results when they start sounding alarms about the latest Newsweek poll.  They automatically go right to FISA and claim that Obama’s capitulation (as well as his “new” stance on the war) is the reason for the change in numbers.

Why is there no acknowledgement that the June poll could have been a bit off, leading to a more realistic result and a closer race?

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