You know how the MSM has been declaring victory for the HHS mandate?

Turns out, the polling shows “Not so much”. Mickey Kaus discusses:

Caught cocooning in public: Here’s what the NYT‘s story on its latest poll told readers:

In recent weeks, there has been much debate over the government’s role in guaranteeing insurance coverage for contraception, including for those who work for religious organizations. The poll found that women were split as to whether health insurance plans should cover the costs of birth control and whether employers with religious objections should be able to opt out. [E.A.]

If the Times says women were “split,” you know that must mean they were actually narrowly against the NYT‘s preferred position. Sure enough, when asked, “Should health insurance plans for all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons?” women favored opting out by a 46-44 margin. The margin increased to a decisive 53-38 for “religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university.”

That’s among women. Unbeknownst to those who read only the Times‘ main story, the poll asked the same question to men. They were not split. Men favored opting out by a 20 point margin (57 vs. 37), except when a “religiously affiliated employer” was involved, in which case the margin increased to 25 points. Combining men and women, a substantial majority (51-40) favors allowing an opt-out–increasing to 57-36 where religiously-affiliated institutions are involved.

These are not close results. It’s hard to read this poll and not conclude that, contrary to some accounts, Obama wasn’t such a genius to pick a fight over mandated contraception coverage–because he appears to be losing the public debate on the question. That’s a conclusion the Times story effectively hides from readers.

It’s also one possible explanation for Obama’s otherwise somewhat mystifying overall drop in approval during the period–March 7-11–when the poll was in the field. But not an approved explanation.

Gas prices are the official MSM explanation. Got it? Gas prices.

P.S.: I’ve noticed that even solid NYT reporters–in this case, Jim Rutenberg–have their bylines over wildly misleading copy when the subject is the NYT/CBS poll. My working theory is that these stories are the most heavily rewritten by the Times‘ fabled meddling mid-level liberal editors. Can’t trust the cocoon to anyone else.

Backfill: WaPo also clinging to the birth-control-debate-hurts-GOPs narrative … Neera Tanden more or less admits the contraceptive mandate was originally ginned up as a wedge issue for the Dems. Initially, the Catholic Church only protested quietly. How dare they kick up a fuss today? Don’t they know there is a liberal ratchet–once you grudgingly agree to a step in the great march of progress, you can never have second thoughts? … [Thanks to Alert Reader E.]…

All of which is to say: “Don’t believe the MSM Ministry of Propaganda! Come to your local rally against the HHS mandate on March 23 and RESIST THE TYRANT!”

  • Dave

    Well, I thought I saw that exit polls in Ohio showed that gas prices were the number 1 factor in deciding people’s votes for 77% of the voters. This could be a lie (I hope). If not, American voters are complete morons, and we deserve whatever we get.

  • Chris M

    I still think 40% of the population would vote for Obama even if he performed an abortion broadcast live from the Oval Office using the Constitution as a hand towel just because there isn’t an “R” after his name. Seriously, people are just that blindly tribalistic. They’ve been brainwashed.

    • Dr. Eric

      I concur.

      (The program informed me that my comment was too short, so I’m adding this parenthetical remark.)

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    It’s pretty evident the White House realizes they made a colossal mistake with this issue. But they still don’t want to back down, so they’re really trying to keep it from being a talking point until after the election. Don’t let them.

    • Ted Seeber

      If I get my charter for my new Knights of Columbus Council, we’re going to spend Summer and Fall on education on the issues surrounding this. Including a fundraiser for the council selling Guy Fawkes Masks just before the election.

  • Kml

    Oh c’mon, Mark. The only reason all those women don’t support the mandate is because we’ve all been brainwashed by our husbands and male anti-woman bishops. All 57% of us. That’s what my husband says, anyway.

    • Paladin

      Yup, those lovely moments when liberals try to be so tolerant and enlightened that they end up becoming condescending to the very people they claim to speak for.

  • Renee

    Simply I’m surprised! Almost speechless.