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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Old news

Flash: Scott Brown leads Elizabeth Warren by 10 points. Or at least he did a month ago.

The Globe and the Herald are both touting a Mass Insight poll showing the incumbent senator with a 52-42 percent lead over the likely Democratic nominee.

The Herald hangs its story on a tweet by Brown aide Eric Fehrnstrom, who labeled the results "new." The Globe "obtained" the results out of a broader survey on other topics.

Neither seem to place much value on the fact the survey was conducted between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, or as the Globe notes:
...around a period when Brown had a string of legislative victories. It predates the recent controversy over mandatory contraceptive coverage.
Political journalists have a thing for poll results -- sometimes the horse race is the only thing advancing a story as compelling as the Brown-Warren tilt.

But reporters are also trained to understand polls are snapshots in time. A survey on the presidential race today may be wildly off by the time voters go to the polls in November. And a poll taken a month ago accurately reflects the situation well, a month ago.

There's some validity in noting the Mass Insight poll was the second to put Brown in a comfortable lead after others gave an edge to Warren.

But if you wrapped fish from that time period into either one of today's dead tree editions it would still stink as badly as this ancient history.

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