After the shocking results of the 2016 election, polling professionals were all over the news media – not to apologize for their completely wrong predictions but to justify them in hindsight. Oh, we said he had a 5% chance…that’s not zero! Oh, we didn’t know all them ruralfolk were actually going to vote…who could’ve guessed? Oh, our polls were taken BEFORE the Jim Comey letter…that’s what caused Hillary to lose! If any of them ever came out on TV to say, “Yeah, you know, our business is mostly BS and now the American people know it,” we must have missed it.
Now, in fairness, we don’t think political polling is actually “BS,” but it’s not the magic crystal ball that many in Washington and the media believe it to be. Especially in an era where so many of these polling companies are relying on landline surveys. Do you still answer your home phone to unfamiliar numbers? Do you answer it…at all? Maybe you do and maybe you don’t, but it’s safe to say that a great many Americans – if not most – would say no. Which makes you wonder what kind of people these polling companies are interviewing.
Suffice to say, though: Polling companies THEMSELVES usually go to the ends of the earth to defend their own results.
Apparently, though, it’s more important to make sure one’s status at the liberal country club is in order than to stand by one’s business model. At least that’s the assumption we’re making after Reuters/Ipsos released a poll on May 4…only to immediately disavow it.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” the company wrote in a disclaimer. “Every series of polls has the occasional outlier and in our opinion this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
Uhhhh, guys, we don’t know about this one. If you want to just go ahead and skip it, that would be fine. We don’t stand by our work this week.
What would possibly cause Reuters to have such sudden doubts about the veracity of their polling?
“The Reuters/Ipsos Core Political poll has a significant realignment this week across a number of metrics,” they wrote. “Most pronounced is President Trump’s approval rating which currently sits at 48% with all Americans. His number with registered voters is essentially the same at 49%. Corresponding with Trump’s stronger approval rating, evaluations of his job performance across the board are stronger this week from 57% approving of his handling of the economy to 44% approving of the way he treats people like them. On the generic congressional ballot, our current poll shows a +5-point advantage for Democrats, the smallest lead we’ve seen in recent weeks.”
Ohh, this poll was actually favorable (comparatively) to Trump and the Republicans. Oh, well of COURSE there must be some problem in the polling method because we ALL know that only that biased, nasty Rasmussen ever finds anyone who actually likes the president!
Guess it’s time to add a few hundred more Democrats to the polling pool – get those numbers back to a place that won’t embarrass Reuters in front of all their friends.