HuffPo's Dishonest Headline Violates Laws of Causation

December 19, 2012

The Huffington Post appears to now be employing imaginary polling data to write headlines.

A Wednesday item entitled "Christie Reportedly Plans Aggressive Push as Popularity Sours" linked to a Politico story about Gov. Chris Christie's plans to raise $2 million before New Year's for his reelection campaign.

But Politico reports the push would demonstrate the "daunting challenge" for potential Democratic candidates, given Christie's popularity, which "has soared in the wake of Hurricane Sandy":

Top donors to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s reelection campaign are telling supporters they hope to raise $2 million by the end of the year, POLITICO has learned — a glaringly large figure in the few short weeks since he announced he’s seeking reelection.

Sources familiar with the approach by some Christie rainmakers said donors solicited in the past two weeks were told the campaign wants to bring in that sum by Dec. 31. If they can pull it off, it would exacerbate the already daunting challenge facing any Democrats considering a run against Christie, whose popularity has soared in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Recent polling by Monmouth University and Asbury Park Press puts the New Jersey governor's approval rating at 69 percent -- which the Huffington Post actually reported earlier this month. Other data has shown Christie polls well with Democrats and holds sizable leads over potential gubernatorial challengers, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker.