CNN released a new opinion poll today, and it appears that the slime campaign on General David Petraeus has now officially begun with a month to go before his report to Congress. CNN claimed on their Situation Room that only 28% of responders would be more likely to support the war if Petraeus reports the surge is showing signs of progress, 72% wouldn't. And worse news, if one were to believe this poll, only 43% of those polled trusted Petraeus to give an accurate report in September, while 53% said they don't trust the top U.S. military commander in Iraq.
Now let's dive into the numbers a bit, to see how trusted this poll ought to be. The sample given by CNN is 1,029 Americans, with no political idenfitication given, taken over a three day period from the first part of August. Question 24 is the first question CNN released, which is:
24. Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq? 24a. Is your mind made up about the war in Iraq or do you think you could change your mind?
Favor/mind made up 21%
Favor/could change mind 12%
Oppose/could change mind 17%
Oppose/mind made up 47%
No opinion 3%
So a total of 50%, if you include the supporters and those who state they could change their mind on Iraq are reported among the 1,029 sample. This actually might not be a bad number. But look what happens when you get to the stats against Petraeus and his upcoming report that CNN ran with.
32. As you may know, in September the top U.S. commander in Iraq will report to the President and Congress about how the war is going. If he reports that the U.S. is making progress, would that make you more likely to support the war, or would that have no effect on your view of the war? (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)
More likely to support the war 28%
No effect on your view of the war 72%
No opinion *
33. As you may know, in September the top U.S. commander in Iraq will report to the President and Congress about how the war is going. Do you trust him to report what's really going on in Iraq without making the situation sound better than it actually is, or don't you feel that way? (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE)
Trust him to report what’s really going on 43%
Do not trust him to report what’s really going on 53%
No opinion 4%
Only half the sample was asked on each question, bringing the sample size of a U.S. population of 300 million people down to a little over 500 people. Which 500 were asked this question? Were only the left-leaning respondents asked the question on Petraeus? Why weren't all respondents asked all the same questions? Would the results have been different? Why would CNN tout a 1,029 sample size when they really didn't use a sample size that big to ask the juicy questions, the ones they're manipulating to try and turn the tide against a positive Petraues report to Congress a month before he gives it?
I don't trust CNN to not play around with the poll numbers. Until they cough up the rest of the methodology and questions, like which half they popped the full set of questions on, or if the full set were asked of the full sample size, why only half were used in certain questions, it's a propaganda poll to push CNN's agenda to declare defeat in Iraq no matter what the cost.
Show us the political ideology of who the half sample is, and the political ideology of the full sample size, and show a little transparency in the polling process if you want it to be believed. It's hard to take a poll seriously when on the one hand, 50% can support the war or say they're open minded to change their mind, and then in the next breath say 72% wouldn't change their mind on Iraq regardles of what General Petraeus might say, because most people don't trust him anyway. It's a contradiction that busts this poll. CNN ought to have seen if it they wanted to be fair, but then again, CNN is not in the fair business.