(important update here. it seems it was all a big misunderstanding)
This article in the Houston Chronicle currently says: "Yet 45 percent said they would vote for someone other than DeLay if a congressional election in the 22nd District were at hand; 38 percent said they would stick with him."
The funny thing is that it *used* to say: "Yet 49 percent said they would vote for someone other than DeLay if a congressional election in the 22nd District were at hand; 38 percent said they would stick with him."
to be clear, if you news.google that '49 percent' phrase, you get this result where the primary result is the HoustonChron article, but when you click through that link, it takes you to an article saying "Yet 45 percent said they would vote for someone other than DeLay..." - that is, they simply changed the original article. (ftr - as of now, if you news.google "Yet 45 percent said they would vote for someone other than DeLay", there arent any hits. i have a screengrab if anyone wants it)
Note the difference between the 49% and the 45%! The news.google screenshot above (click for larger size) proves that they changed it! Nice. Thats just business as usual in Texas, i guess. not that theres anything wrong with that.
I'm trying to track down zogby's actual results... stay tuned.
update: heres an easier-to-read version of the screengrab
update2: the AP is running a story which uses the 45% number
update3: there are a bunch of other articles running with the 49% figure. heres news.google
i sent an email to zogby trying to clarify things
(ftr - this is original 'reporting' - i first mentioned it over at pandagon. i heart amanda)
update4: zogby replied to my email confirming that the 49% is the correct number. heres is a screen shot of the email from zogby.
unfortunately the email doesnt include the question i asked them (i submitted it through a form on zogby.com and didnt take a copy of the question). in the email to them i basically just mentioned that i'd seen both the 45% and the 49% figures quoted and asked which was correct. Ron from Why Are We Back In Iraq? has been helping me out with this and suggested that i show a screengrab of the email. thnx ron.
update5: ftr, the poll is specifically a Houston Chronicle poll, performed by Zogby. It was their poll. they simply, flat out, unabashedly changed the result of their own poll - which then got cranked out through the system via AP etc. so now we have people like John Aravosis (i heart john) saying merely "support for DeLay is slipping" rather than something more serious. its so blatant, and so shameless.
update6: im trying to get a sense of whether the false 45% story is dominating the accurate 49% story. the AP now has duelling stories. on Sunday the AP said "Forty-five percent of 501 voters questioned last week said they would vote for someone else" *and* "49 percent said they would vote for someone other than DeLay". on Monday the AP was running with (at least) the 49% number.
ftr here is a partial list of sites running the faux AP story: ap.tbo.com, michaelmoore, lasvegassun, fortwayne.com, palmbeachpost.com, newsobserver.com, cnn, aol, sacbee, lawinfo.com, philly.com, ajc, armsmerchant.org (lol), groundzerofortomdelay.com (lol), Seattle Post Intelligencer, NewsMax.com, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, ABC News, San Francisco Chronicle, Guardian UK, Akron Beacon Journal, Fort Worth Star Telegram. (based on this and this). and of course, there are many others who reworked the 45% figure into stories in ways that i didnt pick up.
* ftr i first saw the 49% at tpm - when i subsequently read the 45% figure, i figured that josh was probably right - newlywed status notwithstanding (congrats). i did email him with my observations but he hasnt responded.
update8: and just to be really funny, the Chron runs a story (with a straight face) Monday titled: "DeLay spokesman rebuffs critical poll" hahahahaha. the article goes on to use the 45% again. remember - it the Chron's *own* poll. hahahaha
update9: on reflection, its difficult to ascertain which is the most significant issue here. we are still 18 months out from congressional elections (forever), yet DeLay apparently still finds it necessary to exercise his power to the extent that he (presumably) makes a newspaper change the facts of an already-published article (and poll) from the not-great 49/38 split to the also-not-great-but-not-much-better 45/38 split. given that the sample size was just 501 voters, one would expect that the change is (almost) within the MoE. if you look at those who reported the 49% number, the narrative ('slipping') isnt much different to those who reported using the 45% number. does DeLay feel so exposed and vulnerable that he is willing to be so craven for little apparent benefit? and we also get a window into the supplicant media where the journos (or their editors) simply disgrace themselves (i hope they got paid) - and the pollsters (yep, 'even' zogby) who knowingly allow this shit to happen. and we also see the echo-chamber in action, where the 'alteration' was made before the AP blasted the wrong facts. ftr, i despise the AP - most of the discussion about media consolidation fails to mention the impact of AP, which id argue is at least as damaging as fauxnews because it is much more insidious (and almost equally partisan).
anyways, the good news is that it appears that cornered-rat DeLay is desperate - and desperate people do dumb things. it looks like he thought he was in trouble before the schiavo mess, and now even more so, and his foot is still on the accelerator. lets hope he brings down the whole damn bunch in the ballardian crash while he is trying to save his reptillian skin.
update10: after my ranting about the houstonchron, they *slam* DeLay in this editorial - it opens thusly: "Although Tom DeLay portrays a believable Third World dictator, it is time that he stopped trying to transform the United States into his own ideological fiefdom." and just gets slammier. (its from the Austin desk)
* cheers for the link atrios.
* amanda at pandagon has a new post supporting Richard Morrison in DeLay's District22. i hadnt linked to him yet cos i didnt know much about him (the whole familyvalues&God thing makes me nervous by default). Amanda calls him a Dean Democrat, and thats good enuff for me!
* americablog has been all over the DeLay story too. e tu mattdrudgus???
* charles (in the comments) says that the archived Chron article has the 49% number. if someone can grab a screenshot of that ill put it up. thnx.
* update: ftr, on Monday evening i replied to the email from zogby thusly:
"you saw what they did right?
the Houston Chron simply changed the number from 49% to 45% before
the AP blasted out the wrong number." and pointed them here to see the evidence. i havent heard back from them. (the turnaround on the original email was less than a day)
* nutha update: ive just noticed that the Chron article is now time-stamped "April 5, 2005, 10:08AM". i'm not sure what the original time-stamp was, but joshmarshall's reference to it is time-stamped "April 03, 2005 -- 05:44 PM"
* anther update from Ron from Why Are We Back In Iraq?: this googlecache grab shows that the Chron had changed the story by April 3, 2005, 7:56PM. (even though the google search term is "yet 49 percent"). thnx again ron. that is just 2 hours after josh marshalls post. i'm not sure whether its: a) good news that mainstream bloggers have the bastards so nervous, or b) bad news that they can respond and clean up so quickly.
* flashback to last week: "Asked his reaction to the ad campaign, DeLay said, "Bring it on.... My constituents know what's going on""
* another update: americablog is now linking to here. thanks for the link john (errr, chris). "Nice to see the Chronicle has such high standards and changed the actual results of their own poll to lessen the blow to their local boy. It looks as though this could be a non-issue in light of the new stories coming out but interesting nevertheless."
the question we now face is whether we wanna keep making this about DeLay, or if we extend it to the craven behaviour of the media (and polling companies). its pretty easy to imagine that if i was able to catch this disgusting example, there might be some more examples lurking in the shadows. does anyone have any similar examples to share? btw - the notgannon NPC panel is just days away - here was my idea as to how we might respond.
* update: i sent zogby another email: "hi monica - i'm getting a lot of traffic to my post on the DeLay/Chron issue. atrios and americablog and pandagon are all pointing to it.
does zogby have a statement that you'd like me to post on my site?" i'll, ummmm, post any response here.
(important update here. it seems it was all a big misunderstanding)
btw - given that this post is getting some attention, i might as well leverage the traffic into a story that isnt getting as much attention as it should. its about the latest study of the Nov04 exit-polls - heres a link to the Akron Beacon Journal article