Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Bill O'Reilly Minimizes Huckabee Surge, Downplays Iowa Caucuses…With Errors

Bookmark and Share

Political junkies and historians must have been throwing their remotes at the television last night when FOX News' Bill O'Reilly stumbled through an error-ridden Campaign '08 segment on The O'Reilly Factor. O'Reilly tried his best to argue three points:

1) Mike Huckabee has no chance to win the Republican nomination,
2) A Huckabee win in Iowa is meaningless because the Hawkeye State caucuses don't really matter, and
3) The traditional media is backing Huckabee because they think he has no shot at beating the eventual Democratic nominee.

As evidence for "the left leaning media want(ing) the weakest Republican candidate they can get," O'Reilly stated:

"But it's according to the national polls. If you look at the polling, you know, Huckabee's in play now because of Iowa. But if you look at the national polling down the list, he's still below 10 percent."

O'Reilly is dead wrong here and he should be doubly embarrassed for his mistake. O'Reilly already lost a gentleman's bet to former Bill Clinton strategist and FOX News analyst Dick Morris: Morris bet O'Reilly on his program a few months ago that Huckabee would at some point reach 10 percent in the national polls, a feat that Huckabee first achieved in the first week of November 2007 in Rasmussen and CNN polling.

O'Reilly frequently boasts that his program is "analysis based on facts." That's why his claim Huckabee is "still below 10 percent" is so egregious: Huckabee has registered above 10 percent in the last three national public polls: 16 percent in the new USA Today/Gallup poll, 17 percent in the latest Rasmussen poll, and 11 percent in the latest Zogby/Reuters poll.

Knowing that Huckabee is leading in the Iowa polls, O'Reilly then tried to minimize Huckabee's surprising success by suggesting the Iowa caucuses are unimportant, and then comparing Huckabee to another preacher's campaign, Pat Robertson:

"Now this Iowa Caucus thing, I think, is a little shell game. Remember, Pat Robertson won the Iowa Caucus. Remember that. And Pat Robertson stepped down today as head of his organization. His son is taking over. It didn't help him in the general election. And the media loves this because they can manipulate the Iowa thing all over, make it a big deal. It's really not a big deal, is it?"

In truth, Pat Robertson did not win the Iowa Caucuses during his 1988 presidential campaign. He actually lost by double digits. Bob Dole won with 37 percent while Robertson earned 25 percent. O'Reilly is confusing Robertson's surprise showing with the fact that he did beat eventual GOP nominee George H. W. Bush, who came in third at 19 percent.

If they would appear on his program John Kerry and Howard Dean might just have some different thoughts on the importance of Iowa's caucuses in determining the eventual nominee of the major political parties.

Previous post: AP / Pew Poll: Clinton Leads in IA, NH, and SC
Next post: Huckabee Takes First Lead In National Poll; Even With Romney in Iowa

7 Comments


  • that's why his claim ... is so egregious:

    The egregious-ness of that claim, compared to 99% of statements on "the factor" is pretty trivial, don't you think? I wouldn't be holding my breath for Mr. Falafel to be embarrassed about anything.

  • How rediculous!!

    Huckabee is leading nationally! He's in first as of today, the new Rasmussen National Poll has him in first, what is wrong with Bill Oriely's head? Sometimes he just seems like a conservative version of Bill Mahrr.

    Huckabee is the man!!

    -James'

  • re: O'Reilly;
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/07/oreilly-progressive-blog-readers-devil-worshippers/

    re: Huckabee;
    Umm, Huckabee's "the man" that hadn't heard of the Iran NIE two days after it came out. But OK.

  • Your version of 1988 is not the one that I remember. Mr. Robertson did win in Iowa...and fell flat on his face everywhere else. I think you are the one who is confused.

  • Not confused at all. Here are the 1988 GOP caucus results: Bob Dole (37%), Pat Robertson (25%), George H. W. Bush (19%), Jack Kemp (11%), and Pete DuPont (7%).

  • Obama chose a church that preaches Black racism . His Rev has made several statements about anit whites. Why would he alow himself to join a church that preaches like that . What kind of change is he talking about anyway ?

  • Bill,

    Why haven't you brought up the Larry Sinclair--Obama issue with your listeners?

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting