President Trump has faced continued headwinds in terms of his approval ratings, which can’t be particularly comforting to the White House, but are those polls always on the level?
In the run-up to Election Day 2016, the political and media establishment relied on polling data to conclude that Hillary Clinton would easily win the presidency, as many YouTube videos have chronicled. History has shown that the experts’ insistence that Trump had a limited ceiling of voters was off the mark. During the election season, some alternative media outlets maintained that the poll results released to the public (as opposed to private polls to which only the campaigns had access) were engineered to favor Trump’s rival and thereby exert an effect on public opinion.
According to the Washington Examiner, polling firms may still be using a flawed methodology to gauge the president’s actual job approval.
“The report shows that the mainstream polls oversample an average of 29 percent more Democrats than Republicans and the results skew anti-Trump. The result is that it robs Trump of about 8 points in his approval ratings, from 46 percent to 38 percent, it said. And, said the report from Bombthrowers.com, one outfit, the Economist, used 58 percent more Democrats than Republicans in a recent poll on Trump’s approval ratings.”
Back in July, an executive with Rasmussen claimed that most polling organizations “overloaded for Democrats, underloaded for Republicans and conservatives,” the Daily Caller reported at the time. Even so, Rasmussen’s daily presidential tracking poll for September 27 shows Trump with a 43 percent/56 percent approval/disapproval rating, however.
Earlier this month, private polls and swing-state focus groups apparently conducted mostly by Democrat political operatives themselves indicated that Democrats may be disappointed in the results of the 2018 midterm elections. Banking on President Trump’s low approval ratings is unlikely to deliver control of Congress to the Democrats, Politico detailed. While many voters find him a polarizing figure given one controversy after another, they like Trump’s outsider status, business background, and efforts to improve the economy. Congress as an entity, moreover, consistently receives lower approval ratings than the president.
Quinnipiac University released a poll on September 27 in which 56 percent of voters responded that President Trump is unfit to serve as president, and with 57 percent disapproving of the job he is doing as president. The data has a big partisan divide, however, with 94 percent of Democrats saying that Trump is unfit, and 84 percent of Republicans saying that he is fit. Data was compiled from about 1,400 voters across the country who were contacted by landline and cell phone. During the elections season, a theory was advanced that Trump fans were less likely to reveal that support on the phone, preferring anonymous internet polls, because of what was termed social desirability bias.
The pollster for Investor’s Business Daily told the Daily Caller in July that “I don’t even worry about the approval rating as much as many others do because it’s unfair with the incessant negative coverage that no other president has ever faced.”
Do you believe that polling data circulated by the media provides an accurate measure of how voters actually feel about a politician, Donald Trump or otherwise?
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]