Last fall, Quinnipiac misled the American public about Hillary’s reputation with a deceptive poll that Tom Watson and I debunked at HillaryMen:
It was a lightning bolt from the polling universe: two weeks ago, Quinnipiac University found that the most cited description of the most admired woman in American politics was “liar.” The media jumped on it. Commentators seized on it as definitive proof that the American electorate distrusts Hillary Clinton. But the conclusion was a sham.
Here’s what actually happened:
Back on August 29th, we deconstructed the poll, looked at the internals and found that it was highly misleading. While Quinnipiac presented the poll as evidence that voters associated “liar” with Hillary, we demonstrated that it was Republican and Republican-leaning respondents to the Q-poll who linked Hillary to liar and other derogatory terms (including “bitch”). It is a vastly different thing for Republicans, parroting Fox news and talk radio, to hurl misogynistic insults at Hillary than for all voters to believe Hillary is a liar.
Now, in an analysis titled “Dishonest” and “Socialist” Lead U.S. Reactions to Dems, Gallup is pulling the same stunt:
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have multifaceted images among the American public. But the most common responses Americans give when asked to say what comes to mind when they think of each are “dishonest” and “dislike her” for Clinton, and “socialist” and “old” for Sanders.
What Gallup isn’t telling you is that those responses are largely from Republicans. Later in the story, they admit:
Clinton has a broadly favorable image among Democrats and Democratic leaners in Gallup tracking, and Democrats’ most frequently mentioned responses when asked what comes to mind when they think of her are positive, as would be expected. These include the broad positives (“I like her”), that she is capable of being president and that she is experienced.
Overall, Democrats’ top-of-mind comments about Clinton split 52% positive and 27% negative. Just 4% of Democrats mention “socialist” when they talk about Sanders, significantly less than is the case among the national adult population.
Even though Gallup is technically not lying about the numbers, like Quinnipiac, the impression they’re creating is highly deceptive, namely that ALL Americans think Hillary is “dishonest” and Bernie is an “old socialist.”
No one would expect Republicans to say positive things about Democratic candidates, so conflating the two creates a clear mis-impression. Only seasoned political experts would think to look at the polls internals.
What’s more, the poll surveyed more Republicans and those who lean GOP (472), versus their Democratic counterparts (424), which contradicts Gallup’s own party breakdown and further skews the results.
Judging from how the Q poll was blasted out for weeks by the national media, you can expect the same response here. Democrats should be prepared for it.