Trump’s Polling is Getting Better and Better

The mainstream media would have us believe that it is over.  They maintain that the polls are irretrievably bad and that those polls are determinative.  They aren’t.

 First, over the past few days there have been a spate of polls showing the race all but even.  Rasmussen, LA Times and Zogby all call the race within two points.  Pew just came out with a four point spread and others are coming into line. 

Second and generally, the polling is so bad this year that even polling experts like Frank Luntz have publicly condemned the bad work being pushed out as accurate. 

As an example earlier this month, on the same day that McClatchy published that Trump was down by 15 the LA Times published that the race was dead even!  Incompetence?  Malignancy?  Stupidity?  Or maybe the race is just too complicated to poll in the usual fashion with the usual methods.  Read on. 

Third, much of the polling has been utterly contrived to show Trump in a failing light.  To wit, about a week and a half ago I surveyed the polls published at Real Clear Politics (RCP) to try to make sense of the really bad numbers.  I know Trump had a bad press run for a while after the convention but 10 points, 15 points and more down didn’t seem very plausible. 

On that day (the 9th I think) the polls making up the RCP average were all media sponsored polls (except for two which had the race close).  Upon close examination all of the polls, all of the polls were registered voter polls.  Big problem. 

For those of you that have lives and do not dwell in these numbers like I have to, let me explain.  There are several methodologies when polling.  The most reliable polling for the “horse race” question (Trump or Clinton) is done among Likely Voters (LV). 

Likely Voters are voters who consistently vote and are almost certain to show up at the polls in any given election.  As you surely know, the voting averages are just over 50% nationally and fall off considerably when voting locally.  Thus, the likely voter is kind of rare and, because of this, polls made up of LVs are real bellwether indicators of the trend in the election.  

As I observed, the polls above were all Registered Voter (RV) polls.  This means that voters who haven’t voted since the Kennedy Administration were included in the poll.  This greatly reduces the accuracy of the “horse race” question. 

But why does this hurt Trump specifically?  Because the poll becomes an indicator of what the RVs are hearing in the media, not how they are going to vote because many of them will not be voting.  RV polls always skew toward the current media narrative.  And, believe me; the current media narrative is decidedly anti-Trump. 

The next level of polling is Eligible Voters (EV).  These are those of voting age and with no other impediment to their franchise.  The last level is Adults - essentially everybody, registered to vote or not.

Believe it or not, some of the polling in the RCP average is Adults - totally unreliable as an indicator of the vote (were it to be held today which is what a poll tells).  RCP does not distinguish at all among the methodologies and lumps them all together to get its averages. 

There are many reasons that one might want to poll people other than Likely Voters.  Polls are expensive and complicated and ask many, many questions of which the “horse race” question is just one. 

However, to have over ten media sponsored polls at the same time with wildly varying results among Registered Voters only is too great a coincidence to ignore. 

For me, the only polls to which I pay any attention are the polls which are LV polls and conducted by professional polling companies. 

The reputations of these companies are on the line and they are very invested in being accurate.  It doesn’t even matter much whether they are a D or an R polling company – they are all interested in being accurate and should be well-observed. 

Personally, I have completely abandoned the RCP average as an indicator of the state of the race.  I look only for the raw information at that site – and it is great for that.  Even if you like the averages, do not let the media do your thinking for you and make-up your own mind. 

So, with these criteria in hand, I am glad to report that the race is nationally close to even, with Clinton leading slightly.  Check the numbers for yourself. 

Keep the faith and - We Are Gonna Win

 

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