Barnes said tax issues help Republicans; Fox News and other polling says otherwiseFebruary 13, 2006 11:20 AM EST ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER
On the February 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, claimed that the issue of taxes helps Republicans politically. However, the most recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which was cited during the program's "Political Grapevine" segment and during its newscast, indicates that a plurality of voters believes that Democrats "would do a better job" on the issue of taxes.
During a debate on how terrorism has helped Republicans politically, Barnes said, "When the issue is taxes, [it] helps Republicans." But a February 7-8 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll (with a margin of error of +/-3 percent) found that 43 percent of voters believed that Democrats "would do a better job" on the issue of taxes, as opposed to 38 percent for Republicans. Guest host Chris Wallace and Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle both mentioned the poll on the show, although neither cited the question regarding taxes.
Other polls have yielded similar results. A February 1-5 Pew Research Center poll that asked which party would do a better job on the issue of taxes found that 46 percent picked Democrats, while 35 percent chose Republicans. The margin of error was +/-3 percent. And a January 22-25 Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll with a +/-3-percent margin of error found that 43 percent of Americans said Democrats would do "a better job of handling taxes" than the president, while just 34 percent favored President Bush.
From the February 9 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
ANGLE: In the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll, people were asked if the president should have the power to authorize electronic surveillance without warrants. Fifty-four percent said yes. Only 40 percent said no.
WALLACE: And now, some fresh pickings from the "Political Grapevine." A new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll matching up potential candidates for the 2008 presidential election has Republicans coming out on top.
BARNES: Look, Republicans both think that the war on terror is the most important thing that the government has to do now, and they also realize it's helpful for them politically. I mean, it's always been, Chris. I mean, think of domestic issues. When the issue is taxes, helps Republicans. When the issue is health care, helps Democrats. Now when the issue is terror and the terrorist threat against America, it helps Republicans.