Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Considering the extent to which the media has been frothing at the proverbial mouth in recent days over the Republican-driven "controversy" surrounding a briefing Nancy Pelosi received from the CIA in 2002 (see, for example, a piece today in the The Politico by a GOP operative on a potential coup against the Speaker), you might think that the American public is actually buying the story. Turns out, that's not really the case.
Forty-three percent (43%) of voters nationwide say that it's at least somewhat likely that the Central Intelligence Agency misled Nancy Pelosi about the use of waterboarding when interrogating prisoners.What's so remarkable about these numbers is not just that more Americans believe Pelosi than believe the GOP talking points about the CIA (though the fact that history appears to be on her side does help in this regard), but rather that these findings come from Rasmussen, which leans noticeably against the Democrats relative to other surveys (per Pollster.com, Rasmussen's estimate of Barack Obama's approval rating is a full 6.6 points lower than the trend estimate of all other national surveys). Moreover, Rasmussen's own polling finds that the CIA's favorable rating is noticeably higher than that of Pelosi, so the fact that the pollster finds the American people to be giving her, rather than the CIA, the benefit of doubt speaks that much more loudly....(Click for remainder.)
But the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also found that 41% say it's not likely the CIA did so.