Lies, Damned Lies, and Polls

Several recent polls claim to show the Kerry is gaining recently one way or another. The LA Time, New York Times, and most recently, a Newsweek poll all promote this idea. All of these polls suffer from the same obvious problem. All have larger number of Democrats than Republicans (35-24, 38-29, and 51-40, respectively). In a 50/50 nation, this doesn't represent reality.
More troubling for the Democrats, in each case, the margin of preference for Kerry was about HALF the margin of Democratic superiority. In other words, Democratic support of Kerry is not as strong as Republican support of Bush. In all the articles, of course, the imbalance was buried toward the end of the article. In the NY Times, the poll was on page one, but the party breakdown on page 32 in print version and didn't appear at all in on-line version. I am sure that this is just coincidence, but it does make these media outlets seem very consistent in their approach.
However, the real question is who is hurt by this misinformation? Does it give incentive to Kerry or Bush supporters to vote when they think there candidate is ahead or behind? Sun Tzu teaches that fear is the strongest emotional motivator. Creating fear of loss among Bush supporters by this type of reporting ensures a greater Bush turnout.