Presidential Polls Are Déjà Vu All Over Again
A Commentary By Brian C. Joondeph
If you listen to the mainstream media, the election is over. Joe Biden has an insurmountable and growing double-digit lead over President Trump for an election that is still over three months away.
The headline on CNN’s recent “poll of polls” including “the five most recent national telephone polls measuring the view of registered voters” screams, “Biden maintains a double-digit lead over Trump nationally.” That’s it, case closed, President Biden is a foregone conclusion.
Where have we heard such assurance? Four years ago, on June 26, 2016, Time reported, “Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a double-digit lead over presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.” How did that turn out?
Let’s look at some of the polls CNN references. The Washington Post – ABC News poll sampled 1,000 adults. Not likely voters, not registered voters, not even eligible voters, just whoever answered the phone. As with most polls, they oversampled Democrats, in this case 30 to 24 percent, an immediate six-point bump for Biden. Going further, the sample contains 399 Trump supporters and 522 Biden supporters, over a 25 percent advantage to Biden.
It is no wonder that when asked if the election were being held today, Biden is favored 54 to 39 percent over Trump.
Another cited poll is the Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters, oversampling Democrats by 10 points, 34 to 24 percent. Their sample favored Biden over Trump 52 to 37 percent, a 15-point margin, two-thirds of which is negated by the skewed poll sample.
The Fox News poll oversampled Democrats by four points, and in the “who would you vote for today,” Biden won by an eight-point margin. But the poll was split evenly on whether Trump would be reelected.
This discrepancy between who voters favor and who they think will win suggests there are some secret Trump voters out there. A recent Monmouth University poll further illustrated this phenomenon. Voters favored Biden over Trump 53 to 40 percent, but when asked who would actually win the election, it was Trump 46%, Biden 45%.
This is like asking a football fan who they want to win the Super Bowl versus who they think will win. The latter question provides the more accurate prediction.
One of the most accurate polls in 2016, Rasmussen Reports, showed Biden this week with only a two-point advantage over Trump, 47% to 45%, among likely voters, even with a four-point Democrat oversampling.
These polls are a snapshot in time. The election is months away, and the critical issues swaying voters may not even be known yet.
Polls are national and reflect the popular vote, not the Electoral College, a series of 50 state elections. National polls four years ago predicted a Clinton landslide, yet now she is sipping Chardonnay in Chappaqua rather than working in the Oval Office.
Then there is the likely Democratic candidate himself. Biden is currently under little scrutiny, ensconced safely in his basement. He has rallies to lead, speeches to deliver and debates with Trump, all of which will showcase his declining mental and cognitive capabilities.
If Democrats and the media really believed Biden was on track to win, they would not be pushing for mail-in ballots or wanting illegal immigrants to vote. They would not be trying to keep states and cities shut down into fall to damage the economy.
Most polls are not intended to inform but to dispirit Trump supporters in the hopes that many stay home on Election Day. It didn’t work in 2016, and it won’t work in 2020.
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, Parler and QuodVerum.
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