July 28, 2014

At CNN, Poll Results on Impeachment Released Friday Morning, But Romney Whipping Obama Held Until Sunday

CNN/Opinion Research conducted a poll of “1,012 adult Americans conducted by telephone” from July 18-20. The poll contained over 40 questions. But instead of publishing all of the poll’s results in one document, the network is parsing them out.

Several questions relating to support for impeaching President Barack Obama and suing him in court over his unilateral executive actions were released Friday morning at 6 a.m. Related coverage by Paul Steinhauser, which includes a video, was headlined “Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit.” But another set of questions, including one showing that Mitt Romney would beat Obama by nine points today in a head-to-head race, did not go public until Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., conveniently a time of much less immediate public attention — and Steinhauser’s related article did not include a video.


For the record, the Friday release included Questions 3, 7, 17, and 41, while Sunday’s release had Questions 2, 4, 5, and 33 through 39. One would think that there’s a lot more to come — either that, or perhaps the answers to some or all of the unpublished questions don’t fit CNN reporters’ templates, in which case we may never see them.

Here are excerpts from Steinhauser’s story on impeaching and suing Obama:

CNN/ORC Poll: Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit

There’s not a lot of public appetite for a Republican push to sue President Barack Obama, or for calls by some conservatives to impeach him, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday morning also indicates that a small majority of Americans do not believe that Obama has gone too far in expanding the powers of the presidency.

… according to the poll, only 35% want Obama impeached, with nearly two-thirds saying the President should not be removed from office.

There’s an obvious partisan divide, with 57% of Republicans but only 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats backing a move to impeach Obama.

“Anti-impeachment sentiment is roughly where it was for past presidents – 67% opposed Bill Clinton’s impeachment in September 1998, and 69% opposed impeaching George W. Bush when a few Democrats began talking about it in 2006,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

… The poll’s release came one day after the House Rules Committee approved – along a party line vote – a resolution authorizing Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit against the President. The GOP controlled House is expected approve it next week.

Boehner and House Republicans plan to sue Obama over his health care law. They claim he violated the Constitution by circumventing Congress and changing the law’s employer mandate on his own.

By a 57%-41% margin, Americans say House Republicans shouldn’t file the suit. As with the question on impeachment, there’s a wide partisan divide over the lawsuit.

Though the margin is relatively small, the fact remains that the percentage supporting Obama’s impeachment (33%) is, as shown in CNN’s supporting detail, greater than the apparently highest percentage which supported Bush’s impeachment (30%) or Bill Clinton’s impeachment (29%).

Support for Obama’s impeachment is likely a bit higher because, as is to typical in CNN and other establishment press polls, Democrats, at 32%, were oversampled. Republicans made up only 24% of the sample. The poll did not indicate if surveyors made any attempt to identify the partisan leanings of the 44% who called themselves independents.

Now to Steinhauser’s Sunday story on Romney vs. Obama:

CNN Poll: Romney tops Obama but loses to Clinton

If a rematch of the 2012 presidential election were held today, GOP nominee Mitt Romney would top President Barack Obama in the popular vote, according to a new national survey.

But a CNN/ORC International poll also indicates that if Romney changes his mind and runs again for the White House, Hillary Clinton would best him by double digits in a hypothetical showdown.

… According to the poll, if the 2012 election were somehow held again, Romney would capture 53% of the popular vote, with the President at 44%. Obama beat Romney 51%-47% in the popular vote in the 2012 contest. And he won the all-important Electoral College by a wider margin, 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.

Last November, an ABC News/Washington Post survey indicated that if the 2012 election were held again, Romney would have had a 49%-45% edge over Obama in the popular vote.

“Politically speaking, there is an interesting group of people who would not vote for Obama but would pick Clinton over Romney,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “It turns out that nearly seven in ten of them are women, and 56% are Independents.”

Getting back to CNN’s managed release of polling results: How odd is it that results relatively favorable to Obama go out very early Friday morning, while data showing that Americans would today reject him in favor of Romney gets held until Sunday morning — and apparently just late enough that it wouldn’t get onto the agendas of the Sunday news shows? Answer: If the goal is to manage the news, not odd at all.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.


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