Desperate times call for yet another poll

The midterms are two months away, and the much hoped for "blue wave" is looking more like a swirl of blue toilet bowl cleaner about to be flushed down the drain. Expect more polls using unusual metrics and skewed results, telling everyone what a rotten guy Trump is.

September 1, 2018

Desperate times call for yet another poll

By Brian C. Joondeph

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," as the old saying goes. The media and their patrons on the left are becoming desperate over their electoral prospects in November. The midterms are two months away, and the much hoped for "blue wave" is looking more like a swirl of blue toilet bowl cleaner about to be flushed down the drain.

Instead, it may be a "red wave" or simply a stalemate, both of which serve the needs of President Trump and the Republicans. The implications of Democrats controlling the House are horrific. They already have 52 planned investigations, essentially shutting down the executive branch.
There is little good news for Democrats to campaign on. The Russian investigation has gone nowhere. A series of "smoking guns" has amounted to duds – Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, Carter Page, and Omarosa, to name a few. Democrats are pinning their electoral hopes on lurching far to the left – hardcore socialism with open borders, abolishing ICE; kneeling NFL players; raising taxes; and nationalizing private companies, the engines of American prosperity.
Meanwhile, the economy is exploding with record-high growth; low unemployment; high consumer confidence; and trade deals benefiting working-class America, a group of voters the Democrats deliberately walked away from.
When the news isn't favorable to Democrats, they can certainly create "fake news" more to their liking, as CNN did with Michael Cohen and his attorney, Lanny Davis. There are also the ever present political opinion polls.
Polls should reflect current opinion, a snapshot of how a group of people feel about a particular issue or issues at a specific point in time, when the poll is taken. "Garbage in, garbage out" applies to polls. For a tiny fraction of the population polled to represent the larger population in question – voters, for example – the poll sample must reflect the larger group.
As we near the midterms, expect to see an increasing number of polls. Given what is at stake in the November elections, expect the media to use polls not to reflect, but to shape opinion, to promote an agenda. Media polls will be a campaign arm for the Democrats.
This week, we are treated to a poll with this headline result: "Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions." The Daily Mail joined the chorus with a similar article proclaiming, "Trump's disapproval ratings hit a new high." The rest of the media were giddy with delight.
Two things are interesting. One is that the poll doesn't use the typical approval percentage, instead using the disapproval number. Two is that the poll shows support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump supposedly is considering firing after the midterms.
Leave aside the question of whether Jeff Sessions is a white hat or a black hat. I personally believe the former. But notice the shift in polling tactics and strategy. The media think this will make it more difficult for Trump to fire Sessions. It won't – if Trump wanted Sessions gone, he would have been gone long ago.
Ironically, it paints the left into a corner if the guy they are supporting, Sessions, drops a cluster bomb of indictments on the heads of the Deep State. Perhaps this is disinformation from Trump, lulling his enemies into a position they will then have to defend. As Sun Tzu said, "all warfare is based on deception."
The Washington Post article cites a Washington Post-ABC News poll. Let's look deeper at this poll.
First is their sample. This poll surveyed 33 percent Democrats, 25 percent Republicans, and 37 percent independents. I doubt that over a third of the country is truly independent; instead, they may be reluctant to give their party preference to some stranger calling on the phone. Regardless, the poll oversampled Democrats by 8 points and included only 25 percent Republicans, the party in the majority in Congress and running the White House. Does anyone believe that wouldn't skew the poll results?
The poll was also based on "a random national sample of 1,003 adults."
Not voters. Not likely voters. Not necessarily citizens. Just whoever answered the phone.
Consider also that "Gallup found that Americans' trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly reached its lowest level in polling history, with only 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media." So when a media pollster calls, interrupting your dinner, and you don't trust the media, how thoughtful and accurate will you be answering his questions?
Regarding Mueller, the question was "Do you support or oppose the investigation of Trump and his associates by special counsel Robert Mueller? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?" Sixty-three percent strongly or somewhat support the Mueller investigation. What does "somewhat support" really mean? It could mean that "it sounds like something official and important, so yeah, I guess I support it even though I have no idea what this is about."
The Sessions question was "Do you think Trump should or should not fire Sessions from his job as attorney general? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?" Sixty-four percent feel that Jeff Sessions shouldn't be fired. So what? Many of us who believe Q reminding us to "Trust Sessions" and "Trust the plan" don't want to see him fired. Democrats who believe that Sessions is hampering Trump want him to stay as well.
All of this furthers the narrative that Trump would be wrong to remove Mueller or Sessions, well within his constitutional prerogative, but potentially a high crime or misdemeanor for Democrats salivating over impeachment.
Then there is the disapproval number for the president. Rasmussen was one of the most accurate pollsters in the 2016 presidential election. What does Rasmussen have to say?
In its Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, on August 31, 2018, the date of the above mentioned Washington Post article, Trump had 48 percent total approval and 50 percent total disapproval – not the 60 percent disapproval figure cited by the Washington Post. And only 42 percent "strongly disapprove" of Trump – basically, hardcore Democrats.
For comparison, how did President Obama, the deity who could walk on water in the eyes of the Washington Post, fare at the exact same point in his presidency eight years ago? Ask Rasmussen.
On August 31, 2010, Obama also had 48 percent total approval but 51 percent total disapproval, a point higher on the disapprove side than Trump. No one in the media mentions this.
Lastly, the Washington Post poll states that 49 percent believe that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings. If that were even remotely true, Congress would have done so. Instead, those running for office have sought Trump's endorsement.
McClatchy reluctantly admits, "Trump's winning streak with 2018 endorsements could have major impact in November." Do Republicans really want to kill their golden goose?
Most polls are just another campaign tactic. Democrats and the media are one and the same. Ninety-six percent of media campaign contributions went to Hillary Clinton. The media and Democrats are working together to elect Democrats and drive Trump from office.
Expect more polls using unusual metrics and skewed results, telling everyone what a rotten guy Trump is. The purpose is to suppress Republican enthusiasm and lower November turnout. Many voters want to believe they hold the majority view. Create a "majority view" that everyone hates Trump so wishy-washy voters swallow the hook.
These same pollsters predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide victory – not because it was true, but because they wanted it to be so, depressing Republican voters to stay home on election day.
Trump's campaign rallies paint a very different picture. As Q often says, "When you are awake you can see clearly." Look past the polls, as their sole purpose is to prevent voters from seeing clearly. Stay awake, and don't forget to vote!
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.