The McClatchy / Marist poll shows Hillary Clinton with the largest lead of any of the national polls, standing at a 15% lead over Donald Trump. the media is hyping this pol and others like it as proof Trump is sinking fast and Hillary is on the rise.
So should we be worried with poll results like this?
Absolutely not! This is one of the most heavily skewed polls I have seen this election season. And shame on Real Clear Politics for including polls like this in their average.
Why this poll should be ignored
First and foremost, polls that question Registered Voters are less accurate and tend to skew a couple of points towards Democrats. Surveys that take the extra time and make the extra calls to poll only those Registered Voters who are likely to vote in the election are far more accurate. The last few weeks of an election cycle, all of the polls start polling likely voters only. Why? Because it is more accurate and polls are only remembered for their last poll before the election. So polls in August are never remembered after the election.
The McClatchy poll is Registered Voters. Not Likely Voters. So it skews Democrat by at least a couple of points just because of it’s makeup. (I wrote an article Understanding Presidential Polls for Dummies recently. Click here to read it.)
Let’s look at why this poll is so bad.
In 2008 7% more Democrats showed up to vote for Barack Obama than Republicans did for John McCain.
In 2012, Democrats outnumbered Republicans, but only by 6%, down a full percentage from 2008.
Every poll shows nobody is excited about Hillary. Enthusiasm is way down from the 2008 and 2012 races where there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to elect America’s first black president. Hillary has had to cancel events because nobody showed up. While Trump is speaking to overflow crowds wherever he goes.
So how in the world can anyone put out a poll that uses a model predicting Hillary Clinton will see Democrats outnumber Republicans at the polls in November by double Obama’s 6% advantage?
The latest McClatchy Poll that shows Hillary up by 15 points actually polled 50% Democrats and only 38% Republicans.
This poll is not even close to being accurate. I can’t say if this is an intentional attempt to sway opinion rather than measure it, or just a really bad model (in my opinion), but whatever is behind a 12% advantage for Hillary the result is a poll that is an outlier.
And if we actually “weight” this poll, it probably shows a dead heat once we adjust the numbers to reflect the likely outcome and consider the Democrat lean of a “Registered Voter” poll.
But would the press and the media intentionally mislead the public? Would they skew reports and polls and optics to make it look like Hillary Clinton is doing well and pulling ahead?
Well, consider Washington Post “journalist” Abby D. Phillip. She is the reporter for the WaPo covering the Hillary campaign. She attended a rally this week and reported a “Big, boisterous crowd here in Omaha for Hillary Clinton and Warren Buffett”. And she tweeted out a picture.
But as you can see in the photo below, there were 50 to 100 people and the Phillip photo was taken from a misleading angle making it appear the crowd was much larger than it really was. The photo on the right sets the record straight.
So is the media trying to deceive you? Is there a load of bias going on here?
You can judge for yourself. But Trump supporters will no doubt see that despite the echos of “the sky is falling” that are seemingly everywhere, the truth is probably closer to “the lies are falling”.