Fox News again hyped misleading poll about Iraq


On the February 27 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, anchor Bill Hemmer cited the results of a "new poll" by Public Opinion Strategies that 53 percent of voters say "victory in Iraq is still possible." Hemmer failed to acknowledge that, as noted by Media Matters for America (here and here), POS has described itself as a "Republican polling firm," and a Republican pollster has reportedly stated that the question Hemmer cited was worded in a "completely unprofessional" manner.

The POS poll, conducted February 5-7, asked voters to rate their level of agreement/disagreement with the statement "Victory in Iraq, that is creating a young but stable democracy and reducing the threat of terrorism at home, is no longer possible for the US." Media Matters has noted that, according to blogger Greg Sargent, Republican pollster David E. Johnson, CEO of the Strategic Vision polling firm, criticized the poll as, in Sargent's words, "leading and designed to elicit the answers they got." Johnson also asserted, according to Sargent, that the wording of the poll's statement was "completely unprofessional" because "[i]t's designed to confuse the respondent. People are being asked whether two different things can be accomplished -- establishing democracy in Iraq and reducing the threat of terrorism at home -- and doesn't clarify which one people are talking about."

In contrast, a poll conducted February 7-11 by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed that 47 percent of respondents feel the United States would "probably" or "definitely" fail "in establishing a stable democratic government in Iraq," as compared to 44 percent of respondents, who feel that the United States would "probably" or "definitely" succeed.

From the February 27 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

HEMMER: From Capitol Hill right now, there's a growing divide, apparently, between Democrats on sounding out its opposition to the war. We hear that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now wants to delay any vote on a measure that would repeal the president's authorization to go to war. That was from five years ago. In a new poll from Public Opinion Strategies, a cross-section of about 800 voters, asked the question of whether or not victory in Iraq is still possible. A slight majority, 53 percent, say yes, 43 percent say no.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Fox News Channel
Bill Hemmer
America's Newsroom
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