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.
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:
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.