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Concha: Washington Post Downplays Trump’s Leading Poll Numbers

Columnist Joe Concha excoriates the Washington Post for spinning a writeup of its own poll with ABC, searching for a silver lining to give the Hillary Clinton campaign.

From Mediaite:

[I]f you’re running the Washington Post, what headline do you lead with? The logical one stating Trump — who trailed in your last poll by 11 points — is now leading Clinton? Or an obvious “duh” tidbit — the election shaping up as a contest of negatives — that almost all your readers already know?

The Post, of course, went with the latter… which is a textbook example of burying the lede. But it gets even more hilarious when actually reading the story. Punchline? It takes a chart, a headline, sourcing and five paragraphs (219 words total) to get to that pesky little part that shares the most notable result of the poll. And the best part? After paragraph five with the results, here’s how Post writers Dan Balz and Scott Clement attempted to comfort their readers:

Nonetheless, Clinton is rated ahead of Trump across a range of attributes and issues, and she is seen as having superior experience, temperament and personality to be president. Trump is viewed as unqualified by a majority of adults, but he has strong appeal to voters as the ­anti-Clinton candidate who can bring change to Washington in an election year in which outsiders have thrived.

Translation: Ignore the numbers (nonetheless). And here’s why…

A few paragraphs later, the Post shares its results from a possible three-way race by inexplicably throwing Mitt Romney into the mix. Why? To underscore, they say, the divisions within the GOP ranks:

The Post-ABC poll tested a hypothetical three-way race that included Trump, Clinton and Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 nominee and one of the most outspoken critics of the New York businessman. Among registered voters, Clinton gets 37 percent, Trump 35 percent and Romney 22 percent. Underscoring the divisions within the GOP ranks, Romney gets a third of Republicans in a three-way race.

Uh-huh. So one would think the Post — along with ABC — would also test a hypothetical three-way race between, say… Trump, Clinton and Bernie Sanders, right? Of course not. In the Washington Post-ABC News Fantasy Land, there aren’t any divisions within the Democratic ranks, nor any chance of a contested — or at the very least — a protest-laden/ugly convention for the Democratic party in Philadelphia this summer.

Read the rest of the story here.

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