PunditFact checks claim that Obama voters regret voting for him

3:17 PM, Feb 27, 2014   |    comments
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President Obama (Photo: Charles Dharapak, AP)

St. Petersburg, Florida - Headlines, social media and conservative blogs jumped on a recent poll that claims "71 percent of Obama supporters 'regret' voting for his re-election."

But incomplete wording led to the wrong information being reported several times.

The YouGov.com poll was actually to see if Mitt Romney is more liked now than the last two times he ran for President. The news coming out of that poll though, was much different. 

The poll surveyed 1,000 people asking if they voted for Romney or Obama. If people said Obama, they were asked if they would vote for him again. Just 35 people said no, and then only those people were asked if they regretted voting for Obama.

Here's what PunditFact found:

"Seventy-one percent of only 35 people said yes, they do regret their vote. So 35 people isn't a very scientific example. You can't draw broad conclusions based on how 35 people -- who already wouldn't vote for him again -- really feel," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.

That detail was left out of the initial poll results. A Washington Examiner columnist published a story without mentioning that the 71% came from just 35 people. Then it started to spread. 

Publications like Info Wars, TeaParty.org and World Net Daily picked it up. It appeared on Rush Limbaugh's radio show and Fox and Friends.

"Once it's out there, it's impossible to retract everything and impossible for people to take down the bad information," says Sanders.

So PunditFact gave this claim its worst rating: PANTS ON FIRE.

The Washington Examiner columnist did realize it was wrong and fixed parts of his story, but by then the incorrect story information had already spread.

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