Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis every Friday, 3-6pm CT

Monday, August 22, 2016

Poll Talk

There's been a lot of denial from Trump supporters, including Fox News, regarding polls that show Hillary Clinton with a 5-6% lead over Donald Trump nationally, and ahead in many of the battleground states that will decide the election. That can't possibly be true, they say -- look at how many people continue to show up for Trump rallies!

They have a short memory. In 2012, many Republicans and right-wing pundits refused to believe poll averages that showed Mitt Romney would lose badly to Barack Obama -- but he did. I also find it ironic that they never expressed doubts about the polls when Donald Trump was beating the other GOP hopefuls in the primaries.

Here is Five Thirty Eight guru Nate Silver explaining this -- and why you shouldn't cherry pick polls to find one that makes your candidate look better -- to Brian Stelter on CNN's "Reliable Sources"...


Speaking of polls, there is a difference between polls of "registered voters" and "likely voters." In the last presidential election, of the 219 million Americans who were eligible to vote, 146.3 million were registered, but only 126.1 million actually voted, and the percentages will be roughly the same this year. Asking the former their preference doesn't make much sense if it's the latter that will decide the winner in November.