Newsweek suggested Pelosi and Bush similarly unpopular, but left out Bush's three-times-higher negatives
Research ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN
In a November 11 Newsweek online article, with the headline "Feeling Blue?" a caption to a picture accompanying the article compared House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) favorability ratings with President Bush's approval ratings, to suggest that the two were similarly unpopular. The caption asked, "Can They Work Together?" and noted that "Pelosi has 34 percent approval [favorability] ratings, slightly better than Bush's 31 percent [approval]." Similarly, in an article for the November 20 issue of Newsweek, senior writer and political correspondent Jonathan Darman cited Pelosi's "favorable" ratings to assert that Pelosi "is an odd champion of the center." Yet, neither article noted that, according to the most recent Newsweek poll, Bush's job disapproval ratings were more than three times Pelosi's "unfavorable" ratings, that, in sharp distinction with Bush, Pelosi's favorable rating was 14 points higher than her unfavorable, or that a plurality of poll respondents had either "never heard of" Pelosi or had yet to form an opinion of her.
While noting that the latest Newsweek poll showed Bush's approval and Pelosi's favorability ratings both in the mid-to-low 30s, the caption left out other findings in the poll, which was conducted November 9-10. The caption did not mention that only 20 percent of respondents had an "unfavorable" opinion of Pelosi, while 46 percent were either "unsure" or had "never heard of" Pelosi, whereas 63 percent of respondents disapproved of Bush, with only 6 percent "unsure." Neither article mentioned whether the Newsweek poll had asked respondents if they viewed Bush favorably. The poll's margin of error was +/- 3 percent.
Similarly, a CNN poll conducted November 3-5 found that 35 percent of respondents held a "favorable" view of Pelosi, 24 percent indicated they had an "unfavorable" opinion of her, and 42 percent were either "unsure" or had not heard of Pelosi. The CNN poll found Bush's job approval ratings to be at 35 percent versus a disapproval rating of 61 percent. The poll's margin of error was +/- 3 percent.