Yesterday, a CBS/New York Times unveiled the results of a new poll. It appeared that even with President Obama's borderline pander-y "Ladies First!" campaign, even with his defense of the Affordable Care Act's provisions that would help women, even with his support of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and his Barnard commencement address and his appearance on The View, Romney had taken the lead among woman voters. This would be earth shattering news, if the poll wasn't total crap.
When the poll results were released, conservative sources crowed and monologued like the villain in a Die Hard movie right before Bruce Willis' buddy swoops in at the last minute and roundhouse kicks him in the head. On his radio show yesterday, thought pioneer Rush Limbaugh said,
But in this New York Times/CBS poll, let me read this again. Romney is ahead of Obama by three points. He's leading Obama among women. It's now 46-44. Obama had a 49-43% lead among women, and now it's flipped, 46-44, women prefer Romney. That's an 8% decrease in support for Obama. So Obama's War on Women has backfired big time. I can't think of a war that's backfired more since the Arabs said to each other back in 1967, "Let's wipe Israel off the map." That didn't go too well, and neither is Obama's War on Women.
The Daily Caller got a cocky statement from Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who threw more shade at the President, "Today's poll is great evidence that the ‘War on Women' myth isn't working. What women care about are the real issues – jobs, health care, and the debt. Gov. Romney has a positive message on these issues, and as today's poll shows, women are rallying to it."
Whether the War on Women will bolster Obama's reelection bid has yet to be seen, but this poll is not even close to proving that it's "backfiring."
The CBS/New York Times poll was an outlier when it was conducted last month — while other polls showed the President with a lead over his Republican challenger, CBS/NYT showed the two candidates in a dead heat. But rather than try to grab a more representative sample, CBS/NYT just interviewed the same people they interviewed for the last out of whack poll. To further complicate matters, pollsters weren't able to reach every respondent they successfully contacted last month, and the people they were able to contact were even more disproportionately conservative, which means the poll's sample size shrank and its margin of error grew.
Skewed poll results can't force reality to follow, but skewed poll results can certainly give people like Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson a reason to act like even bigger asshats than usual for a few days. And no one wants that.