At what point do you bend over backwards so far that you just fall on your face?
We've been talking this evening about a new CNN/USAToday Gallup poll that shows John Kerry beating President Bush by 6% points among likely voters in a three man race (with Nader) and 8% points in a two way race (without Nader).
Now, as of 10:30 PM on the east coast, if you go to the CNN website, on the front page you'll find the palpably ridiculous headline: "Poll: Mixed news for presidential candidates".
I mean, who came up with that headline?
With all the obvious caveats that polls eight months before an election don't necessarily tell you much about election day, there's no getting around the fact that this is a good poll for John Kerry and a pretty bad one for the president.
If you look down into the internals on both the USAToday and CNN sites you'll see a number of examples of this.
And yet on the CNN page with the actual story it says:"Kerry leads Bush in new poll: But most voters think president will be re-elected"
Skim down and you'll find that 52% of voters think Bush will win versus 42% who think Kerry will take it.
To me that seems like a pretty obvious lagging indicator for president who was extremely popular -- and seemingly assured of reelection -- but is now sinking fast.
But whatever it means, the idea that it makes the overall import of the poll "mixed news" is silly. A week from now, or a month from now, Kerry may be in the dumps. But this poll was good news for him and bad news for the president.
Why be afraid to say that? How now mau-mau?