Fake News, Fake Polls – CNN Edition
A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph
It’s been a tough few weeks for CNN. Who knew pushing fake news could be so challenging?
First, they tried to turn President Trump into a rube for suggesting that Alabama could be in the path of Hurricane Dorian. It turns out that CNN suggested the same thing, a few days before Trump did, warning Alabama to “be on the lookout”.
Then came the fiction that Trump outed a Russian informant. Instead the reality was that the decision on any outing or exfiltration occurred before Trump became president. We know whose watch this occurred on, but CNN chose to instead blame the current president.
Now it’s an opinion poll. CNN’s story of the week is, ”6 in 10 say Trump does not deserve a second term.” Well, that settles it. If CNN says so, it must be true. Get ready for President Beto or Pete.
YouTube screen grab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5Zh_RxSASY
Remember how they said endlessly that Trump colluded with Putin and the Russians to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. And how Trump would soon be frog marched from the White House, if the gaggle of psychiatrists declaring Trump insane didn’t get rid of him first via the 25th Amendment.
CNN told us Stormy Daniels would be the Trump slayer. Or was it Omarosa? Or Michael Cohen? Or Megan Rapinoe? I’ve lost track. Michael Avenatti was the perfect candidate in the eyes of Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s show with the most fraudulent name, “Reliable Sources.”
CNN is giddy over this latest poll, reinforcing their reputation as a hackneyed and partisan propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. This will be the story that reverses Trump’s likely successful bid for reelection. In the minds of Beltway journalists, everyone hates Donald Trump and wants him sent packing in November 2020.
CNN describes their poll by saying, “Overall, the poll paints a picture of a President who has done little to improve negative impressions of him or his work during his time in office.” I wonder if they mean his conservative judicial appointments. Or record low unemployment, particularly for women, blacks and Hispanics. Or America’s energy independence. I guess those achievements cause “negative impressions” for the CNN-watching zombies.
Polls are as good as their survey sample. Conduct a Trump approval poll on the Upper East Side of Manhattan or in Boulder, Colorado and not surprisingly his approval number will be in the low single digits. In this particular poll, the internal methodology illustrates how CNN obtained their desired result by commissioning a poll which oversampled Democrats. “31% described themselves as Democrats, 25% described themselves as Republicans, and 44% described themselves as independents or members of another party.”
The poll oversampled Democrats by 6 percentage points. Of the 44 percent who were either independents or “members of another party,” how many other parties are there? Could some be members of the Green Party or the Democratic Socialists of America, the latter being the party of “The Squad”? Are their opinions more reflective of Republicans or Democrats?
The CNN poll also looked only at self-described registered voters, not likely voters, as other more accurate pollsters survey. According to CNN, “about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots” in the 2016 presidential election, meaning half of those surveyed didn’t even bother voting.
For comparison, look back eight years ago when Barack Obama was running for reelection. A Gallup poll from December 2011 found that 55 percent of those surveyed believed that Obama did not deserve reelection. This number is not much different from the Trump number of 60 percent cited in the CNN poll. Yet Obama was reelected easily.
Note also the media coverage, not just by CNN, of President Trump. The Media Research Center found that Trump receives 92 percent negative media coverage. The Pew Research Center agreed, “Trump media three times more negative than for Obama, just 5 percent positive.”
Given the overwhelming difference in media coverage of Trump versus Obama, the fact that they have similar reelection poll results is quite favorable for President Trump. Another way to look at these reelection prospects is to look at approval numbers of Obama versus Trump at similar points in their respective presidencies.
Rasmussen Reports does just that. As an aside, Rasmussen was one of the most accurate pollsters in predicting the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Rasmussen has a Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of likely, not simply registered, voters, creating a more valid survey sample given that half of eligible voters don’t even vote.
On September 10, the total approval number for Trump was 47 percent, compared to 42 percent for Obama exactly eight years ago, the same point in both presidencies. And we know who easily won reelection in 2012.
Is CNN honestly reporting their poll results, based on the confounding factors noted above? Or are they pushing a narrative, trying to create their desired electoral outcome? From their article reporting the poll, “Trump's approval ratings for handling major issues are largely stagnant, with what little movement there is heading in the wrong direction for the President.”
Democrats, and their media handlers, have learned little since 2016 when their polls all predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide, even on Election Day. Representative Jerry Nadler is pushing impeachment when only 21 percent of voters support going in this direction.
It’s interesting that the media touts polls which support their agenda or their wishful thinking, ignoring any contradictory information. For example, the media pays little attention to Rasmussen polls showing Trump support among black voters hovering around 30 percent last month.
Or a Zogby poll from last month with this result, “Trump's approval rating has improved with minorities: 28% of African Americans and 49% of Hispanics at least somewhat approve of the president.”
Trump enjoys 88 percent job approval among Republicans according to the recent CNN poll, but that’s not the headline.
Democrats ignore the polls they don’t like or Trump rally crowd sizes and enthusiasm at their own peril. Those who live by fake news polls may have another bad night in November 2020.
Brian C. Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.
Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports. Comments about this content should be directed to the author or syndicate.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.