The Budget is turning into something of an embarrassment for the media. Even before it had been released, the journos in their lock-up had written pieces proclaiming it a hugely popular success. The evidence suggests that they got it wrong. The people think they’ll be worse off. Journos need to re-assess their tendency to judge public opinion before the public’s opinion has even had a chance to form, let alone been sampled.
John Armstrong is most obviously caught out. The Saturday after the Budget he wrote:
“[The Budget bears] the indelible hallmark of John Key. It is the imprint of the risk-taker prepared to up the stakes considerably in order to secure an even bigger payout when he wins.
The gamble seems to have paid off – at least so far. Although highly unscientific, a TV One-Close Up poll on Thursday night provided a thumping endorsement of National’s tax package and other measures unveiled that afternoon.
That result was replicated in a similarly unscientific Herald online poll yesterday with those considering the Budget a winner running at nearly three to one. It is unusual for modern Budgets to capture the public’s attention in the way this one has”
Then, just ten days later, without irony wrote:
“Voters’ love affair with PM cools: Perhaps the only surprise in National shedding a hefty five percentage points in the latest opinion poll is that the drop in support for the governing party was not even greater…
The Morgan poll results also suggest the Budget has not (yet) paid the dividend National had hoped. Further results last night from the One News poll may explain why.
Respondents generally did not believe the tax cuts would make them better off”
Where’s a memory-hole when you need one?