And Now for A Moment of Journalism

Mr. W. can't help himself. He obsessively reads the polls in the swing states. Of course his eyes are particularly on Ohio, so he just brought me this interesting piece from the Cincinnati Enquirer (Romney, Obama, tied the poll says).

Do journalists think about what they're writing? 'Cuz here's one portion of the story:
-- Presidential debates don't matter much in making up voters' minds. Sixty-two percent said the debates wouldn't have an impact on their decisions. Twenty-three percent said the debates made them more likely to vote for Romney, 14 percent for Obama.
I can see what the reporter means. She's just trying to express the fact that 62% of voters claim to be not much affected by debates. But if 23% moved to Romney and 14% to Obama, that's a net switch of 9 points to Romney because of the debates. Was Obama ever ahead in Ohio by nine points? In politics, that's HUGE, and the truth is precisely the opposite: the Presidential debates made all the difference.

It would have been more accurate to say, "Presidential debates are an important factor in decision making for roughly a third of voters."

I doubt that's an instance of spin. More likely just sloppy summarizing on a deadline. But still, does no one think?