Polling Angst: CNN Poll Shows Trump Rising Battleground States But CNN Warns Viewers Against Trusting Its Own Poll

This-is-cnn-New polling shows President Donald Trump rising in battleground states.  The polling has frustrated some, particularly at CNN where viewers were told not to put much stake in its own polling. CNN conducted a poll that showed that Trump had a seven-point lead over Joe Biden in some battleground states with 52 percent over 45 percent for Biden.  On “CNN Newsroom” John King cautioned viewers not to “overinvest” in CNN’s own polling.  The polls do not fit the narrative of a president who is tanking due to his mishandling of the pandemic.  Other polls are showing Trump rising and even leading in states like Ohio.  I actually agree with King that we should be leery of all polls as demonstrated by 2016. It is just the caution on this poll that seems a tad out of the norm.

King warned viewers “Be careful not to invest too much in any one poll, especially in the middle of a pandemic.”  That seems like relying on hope over polling.

There is also an interesting poll out of Rasmussen Reports which has tended to show figures more favorable to President Donald Trump. While Trump appears to be rising in some polls and still holds remarkably high support and enthusiasm numbers among Republicans, roughly one-in-four GOP voters would prefer someone else to be their nominee. The polls contradicts the narrative that the GOP is a cult of personality.  Many of these voters would still support Trump on his policies, but 23 percent would like to see someone else.  That is still less than the 28 percent of Democratic voters who would like to see someone other than former Vice President Joe Biden.

Notably, 70 percent disagree and only 7 percent are undecided. Those are pretty hardened numbers.

Both Republican women and younger Republicans are more likely to want to see another nominee.

It is equally interesting to see that, while Trump has received low approval numbers for his handling of the pandemic, Biden is not surging and actually failing behind Trump in some battleground states.  Some polls show Biden leading by as many as six points but that is a sprint distance for a presidential election, as shown by Hillary Clinton. In other words, this is a very weird election and it is getting weirder.

58 thoughts on “Polling Angst: CNN Poll Shows Trump Rising Battleground States But CNN Warns Viewers Against Trusting Its Own Poll”

  1. In general, I’d be extremely cautious with any polling numbers.

    I’ve been tracking polling since 2016 and there’s a lot of gaming that goes on–a point I can not stress enough. For example, in many polls, there will be a heavy Dem oversample sometimes by as much as +10 to 12% in absolute terms. Bear in mind that currently registered voters are split as follows: ~30% Reps, ~30% Dems and ~37% Independent with the balance being other. Other skewing tactics include oversampling the under 35 age cohort and unlikely and/or unregistered voters. The upshot from a ballot box perspective is that what is deemed a +5% Dem advantage, for example, may in fact be a +5% Rep edge depending on voter turnout and how independents vote.

    One of my “favorite” polls of all time was when Joe Biden finally announced his long awaited and long expected candidacy. The poll results showed a ~+30% increase in his polling numbers versus other candidates. So an event with a 98-99% probability occurs and it results in a +30% increase in favorability. Fascinating.

    The narrative: the tremendous amount of pent up Dem enthusiasm over a Biden cadidacy.

    The reality: the poll excluded the <35 age demographic that would be most favorable towards Sanders and unfavorable to Biden.

    The other interesting dynamic to note is how and why a supposedly neutral polling firm allows such shenanigans to take place in the first place and why the media doesn't report on such issues. If you understand this and whom it benefits, then you pretty much understand everything you need to know about today's hyperpoliticized culture of influence, power and bias.

    Another example is during the 2016 campaign debates between Clinton and Trump. CNN and other MSM polls (generally between 500-1000 respondents) consistently showed that Clinton soundly trounced Trump in the debates. Yet there were online polls run by Fortune,Time (iirc) etc. representing millions of online votes that showed Trump besting Clinton in the first two debates. Naturally, these polls were widely proclaimed and touted loudly by Trump.

    What happens after the 3rd debate? The online polls simply disappeared…as in vanished into thin air with little to no fanfare (as they could be subject to bots and multiple voting was the explanation in fine print). End of story. What was not problematic for the first two debates was suddenly intolerable for the third.

    My first thought was how strategically brilliant is that? Answer: Very. My second thought: how does it come about that multiple supposedly independent publications all drop their online polls at the same time on relatively short notice? Why wouldn't a single publication run the online poll as they did for the first two debates and highlight a disclaimer if the above reasons were the concern? Unless you believe in extreme coincidence, then this was well coordinated in advance. Who benefits and would the polls have been dropped if they reinforced the Clinton narrative? You can decide.

    For now, I'm following the betting markets (such as predictit.org–I have no affiliation) for voter insight as bettors at least have monetary skin in the game (which at least is a potential counterbalance to political bias) and because of the issues outlined above, I view all MSM polls with a jaundiced eye.

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