The Gallup Poll Is Wrong, Or The Others Must Be, Right?

When President Trump tweeted yesterday about a poll that found a majority of American felt they were better off today than four years ago when Obama’s Camelot was still being hailed by the troubadours (that’s my wording—I don’t think “troubadours”  is in the President’s speaking and tweeting vocabulary), I immediately thought, “Oh God, here’s another spin-job misrepresentation that will be the selected target of the Trump-Haters for the rest of the week.” Such a poll had to come from Mrs. Blapp’s 6th grade class, or maybe Steve Bannon has started a polling service.

I was wrong. The poll came from Gallup, one of the most reliable and objective of the pollsters, and Trump described it accurately. Gallup’s Sept. 14-28 poll found that 56% of U.S. registered voters believe they are better off now under President Trump compared to four years ago. Not only that, the percentage is the highest by far of that registered during a President’s reelection campaign since Ronald Reagan posed the question as the proper way to measure a President’s success in his 1980 campaign to defeat Jimmy Carter.

Gallup better

Now, since I am officially skeptical of polls, and particularly so since the 2016 polling debacle, and even more so when the organizations paying for and holding the polls are committed to removing Donald Trump from the Presidency, I am loathe to use a poll to debunk a poll. But how in the world can Gallup’s numbers be reconciled with the poll-driven narrative that Joe Biden is headed for a landslide, or even a narrow victory? Voters do not typically or, as far as I can recall, ever, vote against perceived self-interest. If 56% of the electorate really believe that they have fared better under President Trump than under the Democratic Messiah, it makes no sense to predict that they will vote to go back to the bad old days. Moreover, the poll was taken in the midst of widespread scaremongering over the pandemic, and as the thriving economy that the President had pointed to as his major achievement lays in ruins from the effects of the seven month lockdown. Even in the midst of this, 56% think they are better off.

How can this be explained? I can imagine some theories:

1. The Gallup Poll is a huge mistake.

2. The polls showing Biden 14 points ahead or more are false.

3. The news media’s efforts to mislead the American people isn’t working as well as that same news media’s coverage of the campaign  represent it as working.

4. Americans are so racist that a majority regard being led by a black President as inherently worse that being led by a white President, even one that they hate. (Wait, what?)

5. For the first time in U.S. history, voters will deliberately vote out of office a President whom they think has bettered their lot over four years in favor of a weak candidate who identifies with the previous POTUS’s failure to reach a similar level of success.

6. Registered voters have been driven insane by the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck.

7. So many Americans find Donald Trump so odious that they will gladly worsen their own well-being and that of their family to get rid of the creep.

8. An unusually large number of those polled  don’t know what they think, and are liable to tell different people different things, and change their minds like WordPress changes blogging formats.

I rate options 4,5, and 7 extremely unlikely.

This was another part of the poll:

Potus characteristics

That result doesn’t track with the landslide polls either.

The Gallup poll seems to support Democratic pollster John Zogby’s belief that something is fishy  about the  major media surveys showing a double-digit lead by Joe Biden over President Trump.

In his service’s latest polls, Zogby’s  John Zogby Strategies survey puts Biden’s lead at just two points, 49%-47%. He believes that that polls showing a bigger Biden lead are using a skewed model, one that includes far too many Democrats. “I’m a Democrat,” he said, but “I just don’t think the sampling is accurate.”

The Gallup poll is strong evidence that Zogby is correct, and that means that the news stories about President Trump’s support “collapsing” is not only fake news, it is part of the news media’s unethical effort to tilt the election.

26 thoughts on “The Gallup Poll Is Wrong, Or The Others Must Be, Right?

  1. Betting odds show Trump as roughly a 2 to 1 underdog. This implies a healthy distrust of the double-digit polls, while at the same time, it reflects Trump clearly being the underdog at this point. I wouldn’t take either side of that bet.

  2. 5. For the first time in U.S. history, voters will deliberately vote out of office a President whom they think has bettered their lot over four years in favor of a weak candidate who identifies with the previous POTUS’s failure to reach a similar level of success.

    In a sentence, this is what the AUC would have us believe. “More taxes, more regulations, a crappy stock market, more people on welfare. That’s what I’m for. Miserable days will be here again! But at least Trump won’t be tweeting and acting un-presidential any more. Hooray for Joe! He and Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris will restore all those norms they’ve been harping on. Count me in!”

    Right.

    • Don’t count on Joe. San Fran Man is creating the mechanism to remove him and he is too stupid or out of it to understand what she is planning. I am just wondering what she has in store for Harris.

  3. I have very little faith in any information provided by most media. We have the equivalent of PR firms working for political parties.

    It’s funny how we want transparency with those we elect but we care little about the conflicts of interest among the press corp who cover presidential politics.

  4. This is in line with these polls tweeted by Professor Black Truth.

    Even “in the midst of widespread scaremongering over the pandemic, and as the thriving economy that the President had pointed to as his major achievement lays in ruins”, black support for Biden hocered in the low 80’s, except for a spike to 85% in mid-June, even after three months of the George Floyd freakout.

  5. Hmmmmm, which of these COULD be true, and which not so much?

    1. The Gallup Poll is a huge mistake.

    Possibly, but unlikely. Zogby is s Democrat, but not a hack, and would be more likely to “sound the alarm” for overconfident Democrats than continue feeding a narrative he knew was BS. He is also not so careless or sloppy to generate a poll whose numbers would be worthless.

    2. The polls showing Biden 14 points ahead or more are false.

    Possibly, but then why so many of them and why do they include polls commissioned by Fox and the WSJ, not exactly bastions of liberalism who should know when they’re being sold a bill of goods?

    3. The news media’s efforts to mislead the American people isn’t working as well as that same news media’s coverage of the campaign represent it as working.

    Possible, and more likely than 1 and 2. The media think the American people are idiots. They aren’t, but they DO have very short memories if they aren’t reminded of things.

    4. Americans are so racist that a majority regard being led by a black President as inherently worse that being led by a white President, even one that they hate. (Wait, what?)

    Wha? That makes no sense. However, I think a LOT of Americans are bearing unearned guilt for past racism, and too many feel like they need to somehow atone for it.

    5. For the first time in U.S. history, voters will deliberately vote out of office a President whom they think has bettered their lot over four years in favor of a weak candidate who identifies with the previous POTUS’s failure to reach a similar level of success.

    Not in so many words. However, they MIGHT vote out of office a President who can’t seem to get his actor together and who is considered a racist, xenophobe and bully who should never have been elected in the first place.

    6. Registered voters have been driven insane by the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck.

    Not all, but maybe a few.

    7. So many Americans find Donald Trump so odious that they will gladly worsen their own well-being and that of their family to get rid of the creep.

    Possibly – remember it was a difference of about 70,000 votes in a very few states that made the difference in 2016. If enough of those people are disgusted with him enough to change their vote, that could make the difference.

    8. An unusually large number of those polled don’t know what they think, and are liable to tell different people different things, and change their minds like WordPress changes blogging formats.

    Totally possible.

    • Good analysis. RE #2: I think Zogby is likely on to something about the formulas being seriously off, and repeating the same errors within a profession isn’t that rare. As for Fox, it’s obvious that there is a strong anti-Trump sector; it’s not as monolithic as CNN or MSNBC. Listen to “Judge” Napolitano. Chris Wallace. Shep Smith. So the polling contingent was on the anti-Trump side.

      • Fox doesn’t conduct polls, it pays for them. Much like their election night decision desk, the work is unrelated to the company’s internal culture. And I should note that the Fox pollsters (Beacon Research) get consistent A ratings from the folks at 538.

        Geeks are hired to run numbers and get the most accurate result they can.

        • Sure. But they decide who to hire for the polls. I’m tired of seeing 538 used as a gold standard.Silver is openly biased, and his averaging method is clever way to never be “wrong.” Hiring a pollster is the equivilent of paying for news, and fake news at that.

          Fox News knows it could get the contrasting result that the network was founded to provide by using Rasmussen (which showed Trump having his strongest approval rating yet in September.) since it chose not to, I have to assume it was seeking an anti-Trump poll.

          • Riiiight.

            I’m going to stick with the whole rating polls by how accurate they’ve been in the past plus a dash of preferring live calls to robopolling and you can-you do you–I guess.

            • Yup, saw it. Makes no sense, and what goes up will come down. The Wuhan virus diagnosis is already old news—his coming back so quickly will help. Any loss from nominating Conley is based on ignorance, and will dissipate. Meanwhile, the things Biden is saying are getting dumber and dumber—the question is whether the news media embargo on any negative news for the Democrats will hold up.

              • Yup, saw it. Makes no sense, and what goes up will come down.

                For a party’s nominee for president to win a general election by a double-digits while only winning 81% of the party’s voters would have far-reaching ramifications other than who serves in office the next four years.

                The Wuhan virus diagnosis is already old news—his coming back so quickly will help.

                The sdwing demographics, as well as the Democratic-leaning white working class demographic, favor the appearance of strength.

                Meanwhile, the things Biden is saying are getting dumber and dumber—the question is whether the news media embargo on any negative news for the Democrats will hold up.

                This could merit its own blog post.

              • Are you sure that the President bouncing back so quickly is going to help? Every. Single. Article I see written about that makes him sound either stupid or reckless for doing so, and every headline I see that quotes him makes him sound like he’s losing his mind. Biden just released a report from his doctor saying he IS up to the job. A rumor is even emerging that he will tap Andrew Cuomo to be his AG. That said, the talk of flipping the Senate also seems to have died down. Just maybe the Democrats aren’t as ahead as the media wants us to believe they are.

  6. “7. So many Americans find Donald Trump so odious that they will gladly worsen their own well-being and that of their family to get rid of the creep.”

    There’s an arrogance among the resistance that can reason their success during the last four years has nothing to do with who is president.

  7. I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen this movie before. The double-digit lead right up to election day and a premature crowning of the victor as the media crows.

    I would not use the word “insane”, but I think #6 is an interesting point. I believe you touched on it recently; a Trump presidency is exhausting. You spend all your time wondering where the next over-the-top statement or attack will come from. Trump’s Twitter account? Pelosi’s news conference? AOC? Your local downtown area, in an actual physical attack by Antifa? It’s not hard to imagine people voting for Biden simply hoping “things will calm down”.

    The poor, deluded fools. The behavior of the left is, as you’ve pointed out, signature significance. We’ve seen the lengths they will go to for total control. God help us if they get it.

  8. My observation is most of my fellow Ohioans don’t want to be lied and have “spin” designed to elicit a response, the Democrats/media are viewed as trying to force interpersonal conflicts within families and communities. I have been hearing more and more people talk about families in conflict over politics. Trump is Trump and in the most convoluted way he is the only “genuine” figure running. His overhyped poor communication “dog whistles” are viewed as propaganda and “white supremacy” synonymous with deplorables. Some very progressive folks I know are scared thier spouse or family members will be targeted. Unlike the deplorables label you can’t own it or turn it back against them, it is a label like rapist that makes those associated run and hide not stand up for individual rights. I think those hiding will send a message but I didn’t think Trump had a chance in 2016 so what do I know.

    I really think Ohio will be a landslide for Trump. Every Biden sign I see is accompanied by union signs.

    • If Biden actually was winning in a landslide, he would be campaigning in states with competitive Senate and House races, to dricve uop turnout for Democratic candidates.

      Senator Gary Peters is in trouble in his re-election race in Michigan, And yet, Biden did not schedule joint campaign rally in Michigan (either Detroit or Sterling Heights)

      Instead, he went for an appearance in Nevada (a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016)

      Here is an excerpt of a one-on-one interview with KTNV in Las Vegas.

      • I think it’s interesting that Biden stood there and did exactly what he said the President is doing, changing the subject; Biden is a bald-faced hypocrite and that reporter should have nailed him on the spot.

        Also; Biden seems to forget that it’s the Democrats that made court packing an issue in this election not the Republicans. The Democrats have actually publicly threatened to pack the Supreme Court if they get power and the President is simply questioning the Democratic Party presidential candidate about a major campaign issue that Democrats created. Biden dodging questions about Supreme Court packing and saying the American people “don’t deserve” to know his opinion on the topic is signature significant.

    • There did not seem to be too much media attention to Biden polling below Hillary Clinton with regards to the black vote.

      A YouTube commenter mentioned that Trump was getting 18% of the black male vote in Rust Belt cities.

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