Look at that screaming Drudge headline. ABC News is more circumspect with its headline, going with “Donald Trump Leads in Expectations, Shows Strength on Attributes.” The story’s lede verges on breathlessness however:
Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, not only in vote preferences but in expectations as well -– a remarkable feat for the non-politician who’s surprised the GOP establishment with his staying power as well as his support.
But maybe not is all as clear as it seems. The next line is telling:
Trump has leveled off with backing from 32 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who are registered to vote, easily enough to retain his frontrunner status.
Not all Republicans vote in the primaries. “Republican-leaning independents” hardly vote in GOP primaries at all. And where is Trump’s lead strongest? Guess:
Notably, even more leaned Republicans — 42 percent — say they expect Trump to win the GOP nomination for president.
“Notably,” it’s fair to say, that Trump does best with those least likely to cast a primary vote.
Pardon my language, but this ABC News/Washington Post poll is horseshit. Forget trying to whittle the set down to likely primary voters — ABC/WaPo stuffed the ballot box with anyone who might be considered even marginally Republican.
Now perhaps Trump can beat the historical odds, and bring enough “Republican leaning” voters with him into the GOP primary process to make a real difference. But we don’t know, we can’t know, because the sample may or may not look anything like next year’s actual Republican electorate.
These are ginned up, exploitative numbers.
ABC/WaPo should know better — and the worst part is, they do.