The Washington Post, everyone’s favorite Operation Mockingbird newspaper, continued the whole “Iowa is virtually meaningless if Ron Paul wins” meme today with a new story entitled: “Mitt Romney, Iowa frontrunner”
The author, Chris Cillizza, gives his article this title despite the fact that Paul has been either in in 1st place ahead of Romney or in a statistical tie for 1st with him in most Iowa polls for nearly two weeks. Moreover, Paul is not even mentioned in the first half of the article at all.
We’re told that “Iowa frontrunner” Mitt Romney is the “the odds-on bet” to win, and if he does so, it would be a “major boost of momentum”, and “his chances of winning the nomination increase dramatically”.
If Ron Paul wins, on the other hand, it “likely wouldn’t change the dynamic of the overall race much”, and “imagining” him as the Republican nominee is (still) “virtually impossible”.
Yes, one can hardly even conceive of it in his minds eye! I keep trying to conjure up the scenario in my brain and I just draw a blank.
How could a candidate who is in a dead heat to win Iowa, second place in New Hampshire, and is currently polling 3rd nationally — consistently pulling double digits numbers as high as 15% — possibly win?? It’s like trying to imagine a circular square.
Even the very polls that Cillizza cites as supposed proof that Romney is the frontrunner show Paul and Romney’s numbers within the margin of error – in other words, in a statistical tie. Furthermore, even the New York Times has admitted that one of Cillizza’s polls (the CNN one) uses an unsound methodology which under-estimates Paul’s support. They only polled registered Republicans, when it is well known that “it’s extremely easy for independent and Democratic voters to register or re-register as Republicans at the caucus site”, that “historically, a fair number of independent voters do this”, and that Paul does best with independents, giving him an edge.
A PPP poll released the same day as the CNN poll, which did not restrict itself to Republicans, showed Paul at 24 and Romney at 20. The margin of error was 3.4%.
Using information from the PPP poll about “the composition of the electorate, and about the preferences of Democrats and independents”, the Huffington Post added those voters back into the CNN poll, and the adjusted numbers for the top 2 slots were: Paul 26%, Romney 22%.
None of this seems to matter to Chris Cillizza, who has been peddling this exact same anti-Paul, pro-Romney tripe for weeks, presumably from the comfort of his home in Falls Church, Virginia, a short drive from the Washington Post’s friends at CIA headquarters.
The “Iowa is virtually meaningless if Ron Paul wins” meme:
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