Opinion

Shock Poll! No, It Just Surveys More Democrats and People Unlikely to Vote

|
Posted: Jul 27, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Shock Poll! No, It Just Surveys More Democrats and People Unlikely to Vote

Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The polling companies are doing it again. In 2016, they skewed their polls to make it look like Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidential election. The Drudge Report, which used to favor the right, is now linking to these biased polls with headlines that shriek “Shock Poll!” Because they really are shocking; no one believes that Joe Biden is significantly ahead of Donald Trump in the polls. As one writer described it, “Biden can’t get through a fawning five-minute interview from his basement, with notes and a teleprompter, without losing his train of thought or saying something absurd.”

John Tantillo, writing for Newsmax, looked at some polls compiled at Real Clear Politics earlier this year and found that every single one of them had a bias of at least six points toward Democrats — polling more Democrats than Republicans. The Independents polled were underrepresented and leaned toward the Democrats. This is not an accurate representation. A December Gallup poll of party affiliation found that 28 percent identify as Democrats, 28 percent as Republicans, and 41 percent as Independents. 

Wayne Allan Root, also writing at Newsmax, identified a Fox News poll last fall that surveyed a whopping 48 percent of Democrats. Similarly, an analyst who looked at polls in 2017 found that by oversampling Democrats, they robbed Trump of 8 points. According to National Review, the major polling company Pew Research Center started oversampling Democrats back in 1992 and hasn’t stopped. Unfortunately, most polls don’t show the breakdown of those surveyed. 

The other polling bias against Republicans involves surveying voters who aren’t likely to vote. Sometimes this involves surveying “registered voters.” Well, a lot of registered voters have no intention of voting in the next election. And those less likely to vote tend to lean more to the left. Polls are a little more accurate when they survey “likely voters.” These may be people who have voted in the last presidential election. But it’s still not as accurate as surveying “likely likely voters,” as one polling company labeled them. These voters consist of those who vote in every election — which contain a higher percentage of conservatives. You may really hate Trump, but if you don’t vote you’re not going to have an effect on the election.

A Gallup poll last fall claimed that 52 percent of Americans supported impeaching Trump and removing him from office. But they didn’t even bother to survey registered voters; they surveyed just anyone who picked up their phone — which could include illegal immigrants and felons who aren’t permitted to vote in most elections. The poll also over-surveyed Democrats. Most of the major liberal news and polling organizations, including Reuters, CBS, CNN, Gallup and CNBC are like this, not bothering to even survey registered voters. 

One of the most accurate polling companies in recent years is Rasmussen Reports. Notably, of all the recent major presidential polls, Rasmussen shows Trump trailing Biden by only two points. The poll surveyed likely voters, and did not break down Republicans v. Democrats. In 2016, Rasmussen’s last presidential poll before the election showed Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump by 2 points. She went on to win the popular vote by 2 points but lost the electoral vote. So there is a good chance that Biden may win the popular vote like Clinton, but lose the election to Trump. This explains why Trump frequently tweets approval numbers that are significantly higher than the numbers the mainstream polls report, he is reporting Rasmussen numbers. 

A Quinnipiac poll taken at the same time earlier this month shows Biden leading by 15 points. That doesn’t even pass the smell test. Even if Biden wins the election, he’s not going to win by a margin anywhere near that. The poll surveyed only registered voters and lists no breakdown of Republicans v. Democrats. 

The mainstream polling companies do not want to correct their polling because they know the skewed polls work to influence people. Republicans in Congress used skewed polls on repealing Obamacare to justify their lack of action.  

Due to the winner-take-all state laws allocating electors to the electoral college, the national polls aren’t what people should be looking at. Only the handful of states that decide elections should be taken into account (and if you don’t like that, then change it). Polls in those states from Rasmussen Reports, as well as from the reputable Investor’s Business Daily, will provide the most accurate predictions in the presidential race. Rasmussen finds that Trump is beating Biden by 52 to 45 percent in those states. The poll notes that if equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans are polled, Trump’s lead jumps to 15 percent. 

Democrats overshot their hand with COVID-19. They thought all the people out of work and financially struggling would hurt Trump. But by prolonging the lockdowns and masks despite the fact the virus is receding, they are angering average Americans. 

So let them keep gloating about their phony shock polls. They’ll start slacking, confident that Biden is going to win the election by a colossal 15 points. Deja vu anyone? They claim to be the party of science but they are ignoring extremely clear polling science to their own detriment.