Reporting poll results - the Intelligencer and Gazette-Mail decide what's important
Orion Strategies of Charleston conducted a poll of West Virginians last month. What you may have learned about the poll, however, probably depends upon whether you live in Wheeling or Charleston. (What each chose to cover may also tell you something about each paper's biases.) Saturday's Michael Myer's column covered some of the results while an article in last week's Gazette-Mail emphasized different results in the poll.
The PR release from Orion Strategies highlighted Donald Trump's excellent poll numbers in the Republican Party and Hilary Clinton's lead in the Democratic Party. It also suggested that Clinton would get only 26% compared to 58% for an unspecified Republican candidate. Myer in the Intelligencer emphasized the Clinton results but totally ignored Trump's numbers; his focus became the poll's findings on a different matter -- that "61 percent believe that things in West Virginia are not headed in the right direction." After asking a number of very predictable rhetorical questions ("Is it a complaint about what President Barack Obama has done to the state?"), he then mentioned two of the questions that focused on social issues: the Supreme Court's same sex marriage ruling (28% agree) and defunding planned parenthood (54% agree). Myer totally ignored the poll's findings on the WV governor's race.
On the other hand, half of the Gazette-Mail's article dealt with the poll's finding on the governor's race in which Democrat Justice out-polled Republican Cole 34% to 31%. The rest of the article detailed the poll's findings on a number of issues from legalization of marijuana to year-round school to whether WVU and Marshall should resume playing football.
There was not very much in the poll's results that surprised me. What I did find interesting was what each paper chose to ignore: nothing on the governor's race in the Myer column in which one of the likely Democratic candidate leads and nothing in the Gazette-Mail which showed Clinton losing badly.
Bernie Sanders close to Hillary Clinton in WV in another poll
In a Prism poll commissioned by the Kessler campaign, Justice was found to have a statistically insignificant lead on Kessler (28% to 26%). The surprising result to come out of that poll was the closeness of the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders:
The poll also noted about 36 percent of those likely to vote in the Democratic presidential race supported Hillary Clinton, while 32 percent supported Bernie Sanders. About 32 percent remained undecided.
Clinton was recognized by nearly all of the survey’s respondents while Sanders could not be rated by a third of respondents.
West Virginia's uninsured drops significantly
WalletHub with help from the Kaiser Family Foundation recently examined how successful individual states have been in increasing health care coverage for the previously uninsured under Obamacare. WV's uninsured rate before Obamacare was 17.34% and its projected uninsured rate post-Obamacare is 6.59%. That's a 10.74 decrease - the largest decrease of any state. The 6.59% projected uninsured rate should also make us the 6th lowest in the nation.