America’s First Female President?

That is what the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank calls President Obama. I am skeptical, however. Combined with Newsweek’s proclamation that he is the first gay president, does that make him a lesbian?

Milbank’s column is rather silly, although he does highlight some instances where Obama “brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique.” What I want to comment on, however, is this statement:

His reelection campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap, which puts him far ahead of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney among women.

You see assertions like this in the press all the time, based on one or two dubious polls that seemed to gave Obama a substantial lead among women. But more recent polls show nothing of the sort. For example, the CBS/New York Times poll that came out yesterday, and received news coverage mainly because it indicated that a large majority of Americans think Obama endorsed gay marriage for political reasons, finds Romney leading Obama among women voters:

Now, I don’t have a high opinion of this poll. It surveyed only 615 people, of whom 562 were registered voters. No attempt was made to identify likely voters. But one thing that CBS and the New York Times certainly didn’t do was rig the poll to favor Romney. On the contrary: of the 615 individuals polled, 175 (28%) said they were Republicans, 202 (33%) said they were Democrats, and 234 (39%) said they were independents. The pollsters weighted their findings by reducing the number of Republicans to 25% and increasing the Democrats to 34%. It is absurd to think that in 2012, Democratic voters will outnumber Republican voters by nine points, but that is how CBS and the New York Times weighted their survey. Which means that the real results are significantly more favorable to Romney than the pollsters claim.

We see this all the time: liberal reporters see something they like in a poll, and repeat it for a long time afterward as a fact, even as it is contradicted by later polls.

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