Thursday's New York Times contained nothing about the latest numbers from the Gallup poll organization showing Romney with a six-point lead as of Wednesday.
Yet Times reporter Susan Saulny made a full pro-Obama story out of a much more limited, dated, and less reliable online poll indicating young people were still sticking with the president: "Experts See a Lost Chance for Romney as Young Voters Favor Obama."
For all the Republican efforts to cast President Obama as a failed leader who created a lost generation of young people with diminished prospects for financial success, Mr. Obama has maintained a strong advantage over Mitt Romney among the crucial constituency of young voters, slightly increasing his lead in polls since the spring.
Despite the Romney campaign’s message that the “Obama economy” - specifically, the recession and the slow recovery -- has been detrimental to young job seekers, Mr. Romney has made very limited gains since the spring among likely voters ages 18 to 29.
Those findings, from a national poll of young voters conducted for the Harvard Institute of Politics, highlight a lost opportunity for Mr. Romney, experts said. Earlier polls by the institute found a high level of undecided voters who, when compared with voters in 2008, were significantly more likely to identify as conservative and cite a lack of faith in government.
Mr. Romney’s selection of a more youthful and conservative running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, seems to have had a negative effect on some young voters, with 40 percent saying that the nomination of Mr. Ryan, 42, made them “much less likely” to vote for Mr. Romney. Mr. Ryan is more conservative than most young voters on social issues and the role of government in society.
Data from the poll and interviews of likely voters suggest that Mr. Obama’s message that his administration has made steady progress is resonating with people under 30, whose unemployment rate for months has been higher than the national average.
Not until paragraph 11 do we learn that not only is this an online poll, but that it's two weeks old, having ended the day before Romney began to make his move after the first debate:
The online poll of 2,123 18- to 29-year-olds was conducted for the Harvard Institute of Politics by Knowledge Networks and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points. The poll concluded on the day of the first presidential debate, in which Mr. Romney was viewed as having outperformed the president. The lift Mr. Romney received is not reflected in the findings.
Saulny also wrote nothing about voter enthusiasm – how likely those Obama-supporting young people are to actually get out and vote.