In a Feb. 23 CNSNews.com column, Frank Salvato promoted a Public Opinion Strategies poll that claimed that "57% of those polled agreed with the statement, 'I support finishing the job in Iraq, that is, keeping the troops there until the Iraqi government can maintain control and provide security for their people.'" Salvato called the poll "independent," claimed that it "featured direct and straight-forward questions on the subject of the Iraqi conflict," as opposed to "manufactured polls" by "the agenda-driven mainstream media and opportunistic politicians" that feature questions "constructed in such a way as to pre-determine the outcome of the poll."
In fact, the POS poll appears to be the kind of "manufactured poll" Salvato purports to dislike. As Media Matters points out, POS has proclaimed itself a "Republican polling firm" that "mourn[ed]" the losses of Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections. And as blogger Greg Sargent notes, Republican pollster David E. Johnson criticized the poll as, in Sargent's words, "leading and designed to elicit the answers they got."
Salvato also called the poll "a bi-partisan cross-section of 800 registered voters." In fact, the poll was heavily skewed toward conservatives: 38 of repondents called themselves conservative, versus 21 percent who called themselves liberal. By contrast, as we've noted, Republican strategist and CNSNews.com columnist Rich Galen has stated that "In the general population, those who claim to be Democrats outweigh those who claim to be Republicans by 7 to 9 percentage points."