January 21st, 2008
09:58 PM ET
15 years ago

Schneider: About that poll Edwards keeps referencing

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - John Edwards just referenced a CNN poll that showed him the most competitive against John McCain in a general election match up, and he also highlights that in an ad running here. But there's a problem - that poll is a month-and-a-half old.

In the most recent CNN poll, Obama and Clinton both tie McCain. Edwards was not matched up in that poll. It's fair for Edwards to bring up the poll, but it's misleading to say he is the only competitive Democrat.

Related: Watch John Edwards weigh on his performance in the South Carolina debate

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. where's the beef

    I've read accusations of media bias from backers of nearly every candidate in the race now - on both sides. While it's nice to see that people are paying attention and challenging the lead sheep, Bill's previous coverage has often included analysis of the nuances, both truths and half-truths, behind the candidates rhetoric. To accuse him of indiviudually favoring a candidate because he/she would better protect the status quo is unfounded. I also don't agree that CNN fosters some kind of organization-wide bias - however people may certainly be more inclined to believe in such a thing in the Rupert Murdoch media age.

    I agree that Edwards suffers from a "lack of coverage", unfortunately that is because he also suffers from a lack of interest. Why I cannot say, but one of his problems might be that he appears to be the opposite of what he is. His photogenic, perfectly groomed style, southern ooze and corporate lawyer background are such a stark contradiction to the issues that define him that I wonder if many voters just can't wrap their heads around him. He's a great candidate and I hope he is chosen as a running mate.

    Talk of a Southern running mate brings up a certain regional irony with the Dem frontrunners - two odd Yankees, an African-American and a First Lady of Arkansas...

    January 22, 2008 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  2. Christina

    What's the deal with you "professional" news folks? What is the reason Edwards is not included in your polls? I watched the debates from Myrtle Beach tonight, and Edwards sounded pretty good to me. Clearly more focused on the issues and definitely answered the questions directly - how rare is that? It's becoming apparent that you news people have another agenda...

    January 22, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  3. Ashley Newton

    After watching the debate this evening, it is clearly evident that CNN and other major media outlets continue to promote the Democratic race for the White House as a two candidate race. This campaign should not be about gender or race, but should strictly stand on issues and the platforms of all three candidates should be represented equally. Immediately following the debate, the primary topic of conversation was the delimma faced by African American women and whether or not they vote gender or race. Are there not three candidates in this race? It seems to me that the media outlets are so enthralled with the "historical" attributes of this race that they are not affording other candidates (namely Edwards) equal camera time. Shame on you CNN. You usually are "fair and balanced".

    January 22, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  4. wakeupamerica!


    January 22, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  5. Tom, NY

    Not one Democrat can beat Ron Paul. He wants our troops home now! Nothing will change if you elect Hillary,Obama or Edwards, the war will go on,and on, and on,and on, and on....

    January 22, 2008 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  6. Angela

    Since when did the news media decide they had a mandate to create the news instead of reporting the news? From almost the very beginning the news media has made the Democratice primary a two person race and has seriously discounted a very strong contender in John Edwards. The same has not been true in the coverage of the Republican candidates. Why is this? I cringe to think that the media thinks that race and gender play the biggest role in this election. Does the media really give the American public so little credit that they think people cast their vote primarily because of a candidate's race or gender rather than basing their vote on the issues? I find this kind of dialogue trivial and insulting. Let's instead look at the serious issues that exist in this country and all of the candidate's plans to address these problems. I think news organizations who continually focus on just a couple of candidates so early in the race raise serious ethical questions about the role of the media in this country.

    January 22, 2008 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  7. Rich in San Diego

    Great point Bill, and your analysis is shy by seven months of election night. But Bill, admit it, you know this country! The bottom line is, all of the political analysts know * that the Republicans won't have to campaign at all in states where Hillary is a bad memory of infidelity or seen to be the symbol of "pushy feminism" (Rush Limbaugh would say "feminazi" here, no?), or where Obama's ethnicity or his "inexperience" (as in, they'll say anything BUT black in attacking him, maybe whip out Condoleeza and Colin to do the talking for maximum impact!) will be easy to push from the grassroots up.

    So, Edwards was right...he is the only Democrat who can win against a Republican in November. I'm almost willing to believe that Huckabee could beat either Obama or Clinton in a presidential election. Now that's scary. But then again, so were the 2000 and 2004 elections.

    * Apparently Democrats are too wrapped up trying to feel good about themselves over their "happy diversity" solely because Clinton's gender and Obama's race are being plugged at every available opportunity.

    January 22, 2008 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  8. Dinand Vanvelzen

    If CNN is to retain any credibility they should include everyone who got, say 10% of the vote or higher on average over the entire race. At the moment it really seems like it's CNN's intent to get rid of John Edwards as soon as they think they can get away with it. I hope CNN can find it's way and become the news channel we all used to go to for actual news, and not go the way of FOX "news", becoming a propeganda outlet.

    January 22, 2008 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  9. Does It Matter

    CNN is starting to disgust me. It really is losing a lot of credibility.

    January 22, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  10. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    A tie with McCain isn't good enough. What are the latest head-to-head numbers? Whoever beats all Repellicans most consistently is most electable.

    January 22, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  11. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    If you just look at the number of GOP and Independents who selected him in Iowa...

    Look at how low the objective count was for Hillary in MI where she ran alone.

    Look at how the GOP hijacked parts of his agenda–to fill their own populist message...

    Weigh the facts-objectively he stands a good change for drawing fiscal conservatives Dems, independents, and GOP who are in favor of centrist social values.

    We think he could–and remember...there are far less African Americans in the GOP–so Obama may not be so likely to capture the women or the blacks of the GOP because his policies are less fiscally responsible.

    January 22, 2008 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  12. David....Nevada

    I would suppose that not only his poll was old, but that his ideas are equally tired and old. Henceforth, he is being swept under the carpet. Discreetly of course..

    January 22, 2008 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  13. nccole treadway

    Get real Clinton used Obama in this debate. She figured if She could get Edward to look like a good son of the south, It makes Obama look bad argueing with her. this is what Clinton and Edwards chance meeting was all about. She knows the Demacrates won't put Edwards up againt Mccain or Romney. So the Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton machine wins. Obama has a real chance, and the Demacrates don't want to try him rather he wins hands down or not. Who wants the Cllintons for enemies. So is this is the kind of awful people you want in the white house, go ahead and vote Edwards. Because it's a vote for Hillary, face it.

    January 22, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. RuthieM

    I said Edwards was a phony, he has been citing this same poll for 6 months, just like he's a broken record on 'my daddy worked in the mill, I'm a son of a mill worker...'. He talks poverty poverty poverty. Why doesn't he sell his triple sized mansion and distribute some of the money to the poor then?

    January 22, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. jay

    the real question is ..... Why exactly wasn't Edwards in the latest poll?

    It is misleading, also, to decide for the voters what their options are. If Edwards won in the earlier poll, wouldn't he be the first one you'd consider matching against McCain if you were reporting the news instead of making the news?

    January 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Chicago TF

    Whoever decided to leave Edwards out of the most recent hypothetical match-up polls should have his/her competence and bias examined. Edwards has beaten all Republican frontrunners for several months in all of these hypothetical match-up polls (I think Rasmussen, Zogby and CNN have all run these types of polls). He has actually won a respectable number of delegates to the convention, albeit not as many as Clinton and Obama, but a respectable number nonetheless. There is no rationale explanation for not continuing to cover him in the polls. It would be like a telecom analyst not covering Verizon stock simply because AT&T and Sprint have larger marketshare (or because the two larger companies asked the analyst to stop covering Verizon). The fact that Edwards is still the subject of discussion despite receiving far less media coverage, the fact that Martin Luther King III sent him a letter saying his father would be proud and to, please, carry on, is a testament to this man's electability and leadership on all critical issues. In short, hypothetical match-up pollsters, keep your polls honest: include Edwards.

    January 24, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  17. Mat

    He was proven wrong about the 200,000 homeless veterans, so Schneider, the prick he is, is saying this to overshadow his arrogance. Watch Bill O'reilly's interview with John Edwards. O'reilly was the one who got the stats sheet and confirmed there are approx. 195,000 veterans living homeless in the US. This is just to get to another subject because that one was proven wrong. He says things with no substanciating evidence. A sad excuse for a journalist.

    January 24, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  18. Clyde

    Why wasn't Edwards in the poll? He has consistently polled better than Obama or Clinton against EVERY potential Republican candidate. And the goal of the Democrats has to be to get a Democrat elected.

    As exciting as it would be to elect a President different from any we've ever had (in terms of race and sex), it is more important to elect a President different from the one we have now. If Edwards has the best chance of winning in November, the voters should know that.

    January 28, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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