On Sunday, Axios’ Mike Allen published a post highlighting an “exclusive poll” that claimed to show Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s negative effect on the Democratic Party’s standing with crucial swing-state voters. The post also noted how Rep. Ilhan Omar carried a “9% (not a typo)” favorability rating, and that capitalism, not socialism, was respondents’ preferred system. In all, it was a broad rejection of the progressive House Democrats—if you chose, like Axios, to ignore the details.
Axios didn’t hide the fact that the poll was two months old and focused on 1,003 white people with two years of college experience or less—but it spun the polled population as “swing voters,” hid the people who conducted the poll, apparently as a condition of seeing the results, and concealed the name of a “top Democrat” who discussed findings with them. Real capital-j Journalism!
Now, carrying water for any politician that will allow them to write the word “exclusive” is a well-exercised, near-automatic reflex for Axios. Allen in particular loves to Hear Both Sides (the other side, in his case, being a racist president, who, Allen had argued last fall, “can be effective.”) But this particular poll garnering a post from Axios in this particular moment—when four prominent women of color in the House, including Omar and AOC, were being attacked by top House Democrats even before the president elevated the conflict—is some truly lazy bullshit.
And that’s not just for the reason of it being a non-newsworthy, straight-up political attack; it’s also because Axios allowed the pollsters behind the study to remain anonymous—calling the results into question even further, as the Intercept’s Ryan Grim pointed out:
Again, this is par for course for Axios, so it’s hard to get too mad at the publication for fulfilling the exact purpose its set out to accomplish since its inception.
Wait...actually, no it’s not. Fuck Axios!