In July, Hart/Newhouse, the polling firm behind the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, included a pair of questions about the riskiness/safety of John McCain and Barack Obama as president.
When asked who “would be the riskier choice for president – John McCain or Barack Obama,” the results were 35 percent for McCain and 55 percent for Obama. When asked who “would be the safer choice for president,” the results were 46 percent for McCain and 41 percent for Obama.
The numbers should be mirror opposites, but a clear framing effect skews them. The question never appeared before July, and was dropped in the August poll. To NBC and the Wall Street Journal: On behalf of behavioral economists, political psychologists, and generally curious American voters, throw us a bone and bring back the questions.
Addendum: @ Tristan. Check out this post if you haven’t already.