US politics from outside the beltway


Fox News shows you how to bury a poll

Who's leading the election? Fox News would rather not say

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at Austin Music Hall in Austin, Texas. Photograph: Getty Images

Fox News, like many American news organisations, commissions twice-monthly polls of the US election. This week's shows a four-point lead for Obama:

So how does report this news? It's not even a particularly large margin - in five of the last ten Fox News polls, Romney's been closer.

Well, that was a finding in the poll. Sixty-four per cent of Americans think "government is the problem", while just 23 per cent think "government is the solution to the problem"; although even then, the question is about "government", rather than "the government", so illustrating it with a picture of Obama is a teensy bit misleading.

Of course, bad news for Obama does make it into the write-up:

By a 12 percentage-point margin, more voters say the Obama administration has made the economy worse.

But what about the electoral polling? After all, that's what it's all about, right?

Not a mention. In fact, Mitt Romney isn't mentioned at all in the piece. Which is one way to bury bad news.

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