Election 2020

Latest CNN Poll: In-Kind Donation to Democrats or Reinforcing the Echo Chamber?

AP Photo/John Raoux

Yesterday, CNN released a poll that showed Joe Biden leading President Trump by 14 points nationwide. This is the largest lead of any poll and it was met with a lot of skepticism. Looking at the poll’s details, you had to scroll to find the methodology, but it gave some insight into the extremely lopsided results.

CNN poll Democrats

CNN poll screenshot.

While the pollster said the data was weighted to reflect census averages, this amount of oversampling for black Americans and under-sampling for Republicans is pretty hard to overcome. The latest Gallup poll shows 28% of respondents identify as Republicans and 31% identify as Democrats. This is a three-point swing, not a seven-point swing. The margin of error stats for this CNN poll show just how difficult weighting a sample is under these circumstances. It is +/- 7.1% for black participants which is far above the reliable standard of 3% or less.

CNN poll Democrats

CNN poll screenshot.

Additionally, this poll did not take the time to break the summary statistic of Biden 55% and Trump 41% down to likely or even registered voters. However, where they do, I think you see the motivation for conducting a poll like this and publishing a summary result that is dubious.

CNN poll Democrats

CNN poll screenshot.

The registered voters in this poll are not voting for Joe Biden. However, they are voting for President Trump. This is a clear measure of enthusiasm for a particular candidate and shows Biden voters are dangerously unenthusiastic about their candidate. As much as these voters dislike Trump, getting them out on Election Day is going to be more difficult. How do we know?

The same question was asked of voters in 2012 regarding their candidate selection. Look at the results in April of that year.

CNN poll Democrats

2012 poll results.

Mitt Romney voters indicated straight through Election Day they were casting their vote against Barack Obama. Not for Mitt Romney. We know from the history of that election, many did not actually get off their couches to cast that vote. Democrats have to be questioning if Biden might see a similar trend.

You can see the same trend in every race where that pattern exists. If a significant share of voters were not voting for a candidate but rather against his or her opponent, that candidate invariably loses all the way back to Reagan vs. Mondale. The only candidate who had a larger share of people indicating they were voting for him or her rather than against his or her opponent than President Trump was Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Even that comparison may be off. Because the poll does not look at likely voters and ties the weighting to the census and not 2016 turnout, the enthusiasm for voting for the president could indeed be higher than currently reflected.

CNN knows this. So do all of the Democrat political strategists. The sole purpose of publishing a poll like this is to reduce the enthusiasm among Trump voters by making them think they are on the losing team. They are trying to get you to stay on the couch. Don’t be fooled.

And be glad President Trump will not allow you to be fooled. Clearly this poll did not match the campaign’s internal numbers. They engaged another pollster to look at the methodology and results.

The evidence that John McLaughlin is correct is in the detail of the latest poll. The enthusiasm gap has also been a source of concern for Democrats and optimism for Republicans for most of the cycle.

Do not let these kinds of polls dissuade you. It is surely not the last suppression poll we will see. Make sure you explain this strategy to others so they understand the gaslighting that is going on.

Activists in the media are doing sloppy polls with ridiculous margins to encourage Trump voters to stay home. Be sure you go to the polls and take ten people with you. This is a detestable amount of activism in our journalistic class.

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