Presidential Race Is Closer Than Surveys Suggest, Democratic Pollsters Warn

During the latest edition of his podcast, The Zogby Report, Democratic pollster John Zogby warned that the race between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is much closer than it seems, The Washington Examiner reported on Friday.

Speaking with his son and fellow pollster, Jeremy, Zogby said that the election is "closer than you think." He explained that the polls showing Biden with enormous, double-digit leads don't accurately reflect reality because they oversample Democratic voters.

Zogby said that his own poll is a "more accurate reflection of the turnout model," because it is based on data from 2016, when 34 percent of voters were Republicans and 38 percent were Democrats.

Unlike most polling, Zogby's survey shows Biden ahead with only two percentage points.

"Now some of the polls that have come out, I find troubling," the pollster said, pointing to research from CNN, Fox News and YouGov.

"I'm a Democrat. I just don't don't think the sampling is accurate."
The latest CNN poll, for instance, put Biden 16 points ahead of Trump nationwide, showing the Democrat expanding his lead among women, independents, moderates and young people.

It also found that Americans prefer Biden over Trump on issues ranging from coronavirus and health care to racial inequality and crime, also establishing that the Democrat's favorability ratings have improved.

The younger Zogby added that bias could account for the discrepancies in data.

"To me, it's only two things. It's deliberate, or it's a projection of bias, and I would go with the latter," he said, noting that so-called "echo chamber effect," with pollsters overestimating support for a candidate based on anecdotal experience, could explain why so many polls suggest that Biden is far ahead.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop at International Union of Operational Engineers Local 66 Heavy Equipment Operator Training School in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.
Getty Images | Alex Wong

Republican pollsters have made similar claims. In a recent memo, John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates alleged that media companies are trying to suppress Republican turnout by releasing polls that show Trump trailing Biden by huge margins.

"The bias seems to be an intentional strategy to suppress your vote," McLaughlin wrote to Trump.

"We can hardly wait until they start spinning a 'Biden electoral lock.' It has to be a strategy to counter the enthusiasm of Trump voters," he argued.

Trump has repeatedly railed against polling agencies and media organizations, arguing that they are deliberately underestimating his support.

Still, GOP operatives have warned that Trump is losing ground in battleground states and even some red-leaning states, noting that this could cost the Republican Party control of the Senate.