But how misleading is this?
CNN polled 425 people (registered Democrats and Democratic leaning voters) out of a pool of almost 44 million registered voters in their newest poll to draw the conclusion (or to make the case) that Democrats prefer Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders — when all other polls and focus groups show Bernie leading.
But what's even more striking about CNN's poll is, they are basing their results of who won the debate on 425 people when only 31% polled actually watched the debate — and 38% only knew about the results from news stories (like CNN) — and 31% polled didn't watched the debate OR read about it in news stories (but they were polled anyway?)
In other words, 62% did not watch the first Democratic primary debate or pay any attention to news stories about it. So therefore, all other questions asked in CNN's poll won't give us a very accurate or representative result of the mood of the majority of the voters in this country.
A new online poll at Democrats.Com with far more than 425 people (72,933 voters) show Bernie is winning:
Bernie Sanders: 48%
Hillary Clinton: 32%
Joe Biden: 2%
But this is what CNN reported on October 19, 2015 on their cable channel and in the headline news on their website: CNN/ORC poll: Hillary Clinton wins debate, but Bernie Sanders rises (by Jennifer Agiesta, the CNN Polling Director):
"Clinton stands at 45% in the race for the Democratic nomination, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders behind her at 29%. Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering a run for presidency and did not participate in last week's debate, follows at 18%."
Simply put, what CNN is claiming (and what MSNBC and others in the mainstream media are parroting) is that, based on a telephone survey of 425 people (who are either "registered" Democrats or Independent voters who lean Democrat), this is who the
Democratic voters prefer for their Democratic nominee in the general election (Screenshot below):
Hillary Clinton: 45%
Bernie Sanders: 29%
Joe Biden: 18%
What CNN doesn't report is that those 425 individuals (that they polled on the phone) were taken from a total pool of about 18,188,720 "registered" Democrats and 10,831,995 "registered" Independents*.
[* For the sake of argument, we'll assume that half of those Independents lean Republican. And that's not counting the number of "registered" Republicans (out of 14,890,336) who would also vote for Bernie Sanders.]
That means CNN polled 425 people (which included 291 "registered" Democrats and 134 "registered" Independents) out of a pool of 23,500,000 potential Democratic voters --- that is 0.001% of "registered" Democrats and Independents and 0.0009% of ALL registered voters (43,911,051). This is hardly scientific evidence, but for some reason it's BREAKING NEWS! in the mainstream media.
This is also what CNN's new post-debate CNN/ORC poll shows based on 1,028 phone surveys (including 956 registered voters) from Oct. 14 - 17:
Favorable ratings - Asked of 1,028 people (Notice the "Unfavorable" and "Never heard of" ratings for a comparison.) Also note Joe has a NET rating of +14 and Bernie has a NET rating of +12 and Hillary has a NET rating of -4
Favorable ratings - Asked of 956 registered voters (Notice the "Unfavorable" and "Never heard of" ratings for a comparison.) Also note Joe has a NET rating of +15 and Bernie has a NET rating of +13 and Hillary has a NET rating of -8
Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee, Larry Lessig and Martin O'Malley scored 1% or less. Will they be in the next debate? According to DNC rules, they wouldn't qualify. Per DNC chairperson Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
"If any additional Democratic candidates decide to enter the race, they will need to meet the same criteria for participation as the existing candidates: receiving at least 1% in three national polls, conducted by credible news organizations and polling organizations, in the six weeks prior to the debate. Beginning with the Nevada debate in October, Democratic candidates will meet onstage to debate each month for six months. We believe that beginning the debates in the fall of 2015 maximizes the impact of these debates with potential caucus goers and primary voters."
Personally (IMHO) I think that after the last debate, it's pretty clear that Bernie and Hillary are the only true contenders, and so the rest of the debates should only include those two. If we had 10 people on the stage (like the last GOP debate), I think we'd have too much distraction, and not enough contrast draw on the details of all the issues.
FYI: Here are the election results for 2012. Bernie Sanders could win the popular vote, but still lose the Democratic nomination because of the electoral college process we have --- even though Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton in a general election against Donald Trump:
General Election: Trump vs. Clinton CNN/ORC Clinton 50, Trump 45 Clinton +5
General Election: Trump vs. Sanders CNN/ORC Sanders 53, Trump 44 Sanders +9
* Noam Chomsky and Media Control ... The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda: "Renowned critic and MIT linguist Noam Chomsky, one of the classic voices of intellectual dissent in the last decade, has compiled a list of the ten most common and effective strategies in a “hidden” agenda to establish a manipulation of the population through the media."
* From Business Week in 2012 (so this article needs some updating) These 6 Corporations control 90% of the Media in America