Media in Panic Mode over Latest Presidential Polls
CNN, in their dogged and unending quest to overturn the 2016 presidential election and drive President Trump from office, is in full-on campaign mode. Just as in the last presidential election cycle, opinion polls are a campaign staple of the media and the Democrat party. Polls are not being used as they should, to reflect public opinion, but instead to shape opinion, a form of political propaganda.
CNN commissioned a poll, the results of which were released last week, conducted by SSRS, “an independent research company.” A CNN poll doesn’t mean Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta, also known as dumb and dumber, were on a street corner asking passersby how much they hated the Orange Man.
When CNN reported the poll results, their headline put a ho-hum spin on the poll findings, “Biden tops Trump nationwide, but battlegrounds tilt Trump.” Townhall reported the poll more accurately, “New CNN poll shows Trump crushing Biden in swing states.”
How illustrative that the same poll with the same results was presented so differently, Trump “crushing” in one headline while in another headline results simply “tilt.” In fact, CNN buried the poll results on their homepage as they didn’t like the results. I can’t blame them as it doesn’t fit the CNN narrative.
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Polls are designed to reflect the opinions of a group of people at a moment in time. A small sample of individuals are asked for their opinion regarding a particular issue and this small sample is hoped to be representative of the larger population. Otherwise the axiom of garbage in, garbage out applies.
The poll sample is important. Oversampling Democrats will skew the results in favor of the Democrat candidate. In this poll, “34 percent described themselves as Democrats, 26 percent described themselves as Republicans”, an 8-point difference. Imagine the results if those percentages were flipped, oversampling Republicans by 8 points.
The CNN poll also surveyed registered, not likely, voters. Since only slightly more than half of eligible voters actually voted in the 2016 presidential election, this, too, is not a representative sample of the electorate.
The CNN poll, with Democrat oversampling, showed voters nationally backing Biden over Trump by 51 to 46 percent, a five point difference, less than the 8 point difference in party affiliation. Theoretically, if the survey sample were equally balanced between Democrats and Republicans, Trump would come out ahead by 3 points. Which is perhaps why Democrats were oversampled.
Is a nationwide poll even relevant in a presidential election? Not really, because of the Electoral College. Instead there are 50 state elections taking place, not a national popular vote, much to the consternation of the political left.
Rather than a popular vote, the presidential election is decided by a handful of “battleground states” that tend to swing red or blue, depending on the electoral cycle. An opinion poll in New York or California is irrelevant as it’s a foregone conclusion that the Democrat will win those states. The margin doesn’t matter as the electoral votes will be the same.
In battleground states, Trump leads Biden by 52 to 45 percent, a 7-point margin. Add the 8-point difference in party affiliation of those polled and Trump’s lead could potentially be 15 percent. Is it any wonder CNN is not touting this news?
This poll has other interesting tidbits. The “economy, stupid” typically predicts the next president, as USA Today notes. The US economy is on life support these days with the Wuhan coronavirus causing a national economic shutdown. But as the Washington Post begrudgingly admits, “Americans have an increasingly dismal view of the economy, but they don’t blame Trump.” Really? Democrats and the media exclusively blame Trump.
A YouGov poll finds similar results, “One-third of Americans blame the Trump Administration for unemployment numbers.” A more honest headline would be that two thirds of Americans don’t blame Trump for the current economic mess.
In the CNN poll, Trump holds a 12-point lead over Biden when the survey asked, “Who they trusted most to handle the economy.” And that’s up from only a 4-point margin last month.
Sharpness and stamina also favor Trump by 49 to 46 percent. I suspect that margin is much higher, as Trump holds daily briefings, sparing with a hostile media for well over an hour while Biden can’t muddle through a fawning 5-minute interview from his basement with notes and a teleprompter, without losing his train of thought or saying something stupid.
Rasmussen, the most accurate pollster in the 2016 presidential election, offers another perspective. They survey likely voters, rather than simply registered or eligible voters. In their Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, President Trump, on May 15, had a 49 percent total approval rating, compared to 47 percent approval for President Obama exactly eight years ago.
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Gallup, no fan of President Trump, echoes Rasmussen.
Despite a wave of critical news coverage and Democratic catcalls, President Trump sits at his “highest” approval in the latest Gallup survey, and above where four of the last six presidents, including Barack Obama and George W. Bush, were at this point of the first term.
Two separate polls both pointing out the inconvenient truth that Trump is more popular than “The One,” Barack Hussein Obama. Wait until Barr and Durham unleash the hounds of hell on the ObamaGate conspirators and watch Obama’s popularity drop like an anchor.
Trump is dealing with an economic calamity the likes not seen since the Great Depression. The Beltway deep state is still trying to overturn the last election and remove him from office. The media is almost universally hostile and nasty toward Trump. Compare that to Obama, cruising to reelection against the hapless Mitt Romney, fanned on by an adoring media with virtually no Republican opposition. Yet Trump has higher approval ratings than Obama.
Remember that polls are a snapshot in time, with the only poll that matters being on Election Day. How wrong were the polls in 2016, predicting a Clinton landslide?
On Election Day, November 8, 2016, Frank Luntz, noted pollster and political pundit tweeted, “In case I wasn't clear enough from my previous tweets: Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.” Some prediction.
Take opinion polls with a grain of salt. Note who was surveyed and how the results are spun. The truth is right in front of you.
Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter and QuodVerum.