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08 September 2008 Blog Home : September 2008 : Permalink

Biased BBC on US Elections

If you go to republican supporting (blog)sites you see links to polls such as this USAToday-Gallup one which put McCain well ahead of Obama now that everyone has had a weekend to reflect on the two conventions. The Gallup results are not an outlier, this report summarizes similar recent Zogby and Rasmussen results and so on.

But go to the BBC's "US Election polltracker" and you wouldn't know this. According to the BBC no polls have been taken for a week and hence we're left to look at poll results from some time back, coincidentally this is when Obama wasin the lead. Here is a screen cap the BBC's report of Gallup:
Gallup poll report according to the BBC
The Gallup poll is not the only not terribly fresh one. Here are caps of the BBC's reports on Rasmussen, Washington Post and AP-IPSOS respectively
Rasmussen according to the BBCWaPo according to the BBCAP-IPSOS according to the BBC
Perhaps the BBC are going to update things today, but they certainly seem to be taking their time and thereby misleading their visitors about the actual US opinion polls.

This is not the only BBC bias on show. Take this "analysis" piece from yesterday and note all the anti-republican spin starting in the second paragraph:

Republicans are left to wonder if it will ever be possible to wear those plush-toy hats in the shape of an elephant - the symbol of their party - anywhere else on earth.

One wonders how many inappropriate pieces of clothing in the shape of a donkey the Democrat delegates are destined for a similar fate? Then there is:

Neither party appears to be enjoying the large, clear bounce in the opinion polls which traditionally follows their conventions.

Historically, candidates have been able to count on a 10% surge in popularity after the party gathering - partly because in modern times they have enjoyed extensive exposure on television against sympathetic and often spectacular backdrops.

Oddly enough, and as noted above, umm McCain is enjoying a bounce . OK maybe not the 15+% bounce of yesteryear but USAToday etc. (above) reports McCain up ahead and as Rich Galen reports:

I am going into screechingly boring detail about this because as of yesterday, the Gallup Track had gone from Obama +8 to McCain +3 a convention bounce of 11 percentage points for McCain/Palin.

An 11% change sounds like a bounce to me but not apparently to the BBC, who then compound their idiocy with this:

In other words, the tale of the opinion polls is not varying very much.

Most show Mr Obama in front, but when you take into account the statistical margin of error they don't show him in front by very much.

There is plenty to worry strategists from both parties in those numbers.For Republicans, the concern is obvious. Mr McCain does appear to be persistently behind, albeit by relatively small margins.

Even Saturday it was possible to find hints that McCain was surging but the BBC clearly didn't bother looking. And rather than analyze reasons why Obama might be less inspiring (elitism, stupid policies) they play the race card:

But this is a year when America is suffering a crisis in the housing market, record gasoline prices and rising unemployment under an unpopular president who's conducting wars on two fronts overseas.

Lots of Democrats are concerned that their candidate is not winning by miles - they believe 2008 really should be a Democratic year.

Could it be that for all his charm in interviews, his brilliance onstage and his undoubted mastery of policy detail, Mr Obama is struggling to close the deal with the American public because of the colour of his skin?

Of course they present no evidence for this (indeed the next paragraph or two makes clear there isn't any) but never fear the BBC will now insist that a vote against Obama is a vote for the KKK.