Those on the Left who elected to watch the State of the Union address last night appear to have had a lousy time, mainly because most middle-of-the-road and right-leaning Americans who tuned in didn’t. According to a CBS poll, a whopping 76% of viewers say they approved of the speech the president gave, while only 24% disapproved.
CNN conducted a poll of its own and came away with nearly identical results: 59% said they were “very positive” while 17% said they were “somewhat positive.” As with the CBS poll, 24% had a “negative” reaction to the speech.
But this was CNN and the network wasn’t about to cede a victory to Donald Trump. So analyst David Chalian came out and explained that the results of the poll were skewed because they were culled only from people who tuned in to the address. Watch:
He emphasizes twice that these numbers represent “only speech watchers” — but doesn’t that go without saying? After all, those who didn’t watch couldn’t possibly render an opinion. One might argue that non-watchers could form opinions based on a reading of a transcript of the speech. But this was an instant poll shared immediately after the SOTU last night. Transcripts weren’t available until the next morning.
Politico, meanwhile, was wrestling with its own demons. The site “fact-checked” the speech, and among the lines it took issue with was this:
One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country. [Emphasis added]
But Politico’s panel of immigration experts found this claim problematic, writing:
A 2017 report by Doctors Without Borders found 31 percent of female migrants and 17 percent of male migrants said they had been sexually abused while traveling through Mexico. For the report, the medical organization randomly surveyed 467 migrants in shelters that it supports in Mexico — what it called “a snapshot in time” based on the population available in the selected facilities.
So the president said “one third” of women were sexually assaulted when the actual number was 31%. Can you say “splitting hairs”?