The best part? This poll was commissioned by the very newspaper that ran the now-infamous 5,500-word 'bully' story on its front page a few weeks ago. Sorry, WaPo -- voters aren't buying what you're selling. Hit piece fail:
Most Americans by far dismiss the relevance of accusations that Mitt Romney bullied a high-school classmate, calling it off-point in the election debate – and indicating they’d say the same about Barack Obama’s behavior as a high-school student, as well. Three-quarters in this ABC News/Washington Post poll say the account of Romney’s high school behavior is not a serious matter, about as many say it doesn’t provide relevant information on his character, and nearly all – 90 percent – say it’s not a major factor in their vote preference.
The public also bristles at the very approach of the press investigating a candidate's teenage exploits, an overwhelming distaste that cuts across partisan lines:
Most Americans, in any case, see the general approach as inappropriate: Seventy-five percent in this poll...say it’s unfair to bring up things a political candidate did in high school. Given the context of the bullying story, 89 percent of Republicans say so; that slips to 73 percent of independents and 66 percent of Democrats. Further, 72 percent think the specific bullying incident, first reported by The Washington Post, does not provide useful information about Romney’s character. That, too, engenders partisan divisions: Almost all Republicans (94 percent) think the incident isn’t relevant; 71 percent of independents and 59 percent of Democrats agree.
Incidentally, this data is mined from the same national survey that gave Democrats a ludicrous ten point sample advantage, resulting in The One's thin lead over Romney. So the public's rejection of the Post's advocacy journalism is probably even more comprehensive than even the 90 percent (!) figure indicates. With the Obama campaign's Bain crusade backfiring, the press is going to have to dig harder to help sink Romney. Their failure to accomplish this task thus far clearly isn't due to lack of effort. Come on, guys, the American people demand more hot scoops on Ann Romney's former horses, the Romney family's Irish Setter circa 1983, and the actions of rogue Mormon militias in the mid-19th Century.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography