Polls For Trump, Clinton Matchup Can’t Be Trusted: Here’s Why

The polls for Trump and Clinton and their matchup in the general election are showing that the former First Lady, U.S. Senator from New York, and Secretary of State is heading for a blowout win in November.

However, supporters of the “I’m With Her” movement are likely taking a bit too much comfort from those results.

To understand why the polls for a Trump and Clinton matchup lack trustworthiness, one must have an understanding about the fragmentation of media.

For decades, the American public trusted what the results of these statistical gatherings had to say because there were far fewer sources of information to choose from, thus there was a greater demand on trustworthiness.

With the Internet, however, came the proliferation of media and the polarization of political viewpoints. No longer did you have to take what the three or four polling finds in circulation had to say.

Armed with a viewpoint, you could gather a sampling that more closely fit your agenda and then report the latest findings.

With the United States mainstream media leaning dramatically to the left, that means a proliferation of “data” that leans that way as well.

That’s why with the polls in the Trump and Clinton pairing, you’re seeing a hard shift toward Hillary in spite of the fact that more damning evidence has come out on her emails in the last week, and the fact that her opponent has consistently shown better insight on foreign policy matters than her.

Take the #Brexit vote of last week. Not only was it an example of how badly out of touch with foreign affairs that HRC is, but it also was a cardinal example of how polling cannot be trusted to accurately depict how a vote will play out.

Hillary was confident that the U.K. would agree to stay in the European Union, using polling data from left-leaning sources like the Washington Post to frame that confidence in how she spoke about the matter leading up to the historic vote.

When the dust had settled, however, Britons voted 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of leaving the EU.

This was no doubt a victory for Donald, who has pushed against the rise of globalization in his campaign speeches as evidenced in what pundits like Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, are now saying.

In a Yahoo report, Haas said that for Madam Secretary’s presidential campaign, “this is something of a warning not to underestimate this disaffection, not to underestimate political and economic nationalism.”

On Sunday more polls for the Trump and Clinton pairing were released from WashPo, and predictably, the site, which had its press credentials taken away by the Donald, found Clinton with her biggest lead yet (12 points).

This is in spite of Clinton’s bad week, which has been plagued with information about an email she kept hidden from the State Department and calendar omissions at the time she was Secretary.

Furthermore, more than 60 percent of U.S. voters believe that Hillary is lying on the topic of her private server–not a glowing endorsement that Americans believe she is ready for the Presidency, nor a glowing endorsement from a public that is admittedly sick of career politicians, which Clinton so clearly is.

While the polls for Trump and Clinton could be correct, the data that polling is reliable and trustworthy says otherwise.

In January, the Guardian released this detailed report of how wrong polling has been in recent history.

While the whole thing is worth a read, this is one part you cannot afford to ignore if you’re wanting to test the validity of polls comparing Trump and Clinton (or any other candidates for that matter).

“Response rates (that’s the percentage of people who answer a survey when asked) have plummeted. In the 1930s, it was over 90%; in 2012 it was 9%, and it has continued to decline since then. What’s more, the U.S. population has grown 2.5 times larger since the 30s so the overall participation rate (the percentage of the total population that ends up actually completing a survey) has fallen even faster.

“In the end, you’re left with about a thousand adults (if you’re lucky) who are taken to be representative of the approximately 225 million eligible voters in the United States.”

So what do you think, readers? Are the polls comparing Trump and Clinton still as convincing to you? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons / DonkeyHotey /Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)]