If the polls were correct in 2016, Hillary Clinton would be running for a second term and none of the Trump accomplishments like turning the US economy into a jobs machine and rebuilding our military would never have come to pass. This year, pollsters have all but written off President Trump again. So are these pollsters and talking heads who are guaranteeing a Biden/Harris victory in November year to be believed, given their abysmal performance in 2016?
The answer to that question is that the only poll that really matters is Election Day and we will soon find out how strong and robust the coalition President Trump built is. But given that the media’s assurance that Biden is cruising to victory, let’s take a look at some mistakes the media might be making with respect to polling and the current state of the Presidential election.
If you turn on cable news, you will see national polls putting Joe Biden up anywhere between 5-10 points nationwide over President Trump. Sound familiar? At around the same time before the 2016 election, national polls showed about the same strength for Hillary Clinton. The focus on national polling is was a major mistake of the media in 2016 as it is now in 2020. Frankly, national polls matter very little, only to the extent that they can create the expectation of an event to happen (Biden to win) and could have the effect of depressing Republican voter turnout. That may well be the reason that CNN and other liberal news networks focus so much on national polling. What matters much more at this stage of the election is state specific polling in a number of swing states — Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida among them.
Like national polling, the media also puts too much emphasis on the popular vote. In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the popular vote (largely because of her margin of victory in California) but failed to reach 270 electoral votes to win the Presidency. An accomplishment akin to having the most rushing yards in a football game but scoring less touchdowns to actually win. President Trump clinched his history victory with 306 electoral college votes. Democrats and the media, fearing the possibility of a 2016 repeat, have continued their assault on the electoral college, decrying President Trump’s comments about voter fraud while spreading the lie that President Trump’s election in 2016 was somehow illegitimate because of him not winning over enough Californians. Changing to a national popular vote would give big cities more sway than what many media elitists would refer to as “flyover country.” Take a look at a map of 2016 counties won and you will be a bright red country with deep blue enclaves typically surrounding more populated areas. A popular vote would give the liberal cities whose policies are being put on full display more say in how the rest of our center-right country is governed. This is an ongoing fight and not one that liberals expect to win before Election Day. The media’s emphasis on the popular vote at this stage in the election is again only for the purpose of hammering the idea the President is illigimate into the national psyche.
Another mistake of the media is attacking the President for motivating his base. President Trump and his reelection team are focusing on winning with a similar coalition to 2016. President Trump won the election by turning out a massive amount of non-educated college whites in key states while capturing small parts of other voting blocs.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls released this month show President Trump’s support among white voters without college degrees sitting just over 60 percent which is a six-point increase from 2016. The President’s support among Hispanics has increased by nine points compared to 2016. Recent numbers out from the Cook Political Report show how five key demographics including white, non-college graduates and Hispanics could have Trump winning the Electoral College but losing the popular vote again. The President understands that scoring touchdowns in key rust belt states is more important than trying to gain more of the popular vote share.
Lastly, the media acts as if enthusiasm this year is only on the side of Democrats. Generally, the party not in control of the White House turns out more voters but this has been an extraordinary year to say the least. To what extent do independent voters feel turned off by some of the Democrat’s extreme positions? Are independent voters siding with protesters or with the President’s law and order messaging? Anecdotally we see Trump signs everywhere across the country. We hear members tell us “they sure didn’t poll me or any of my neighbors”. For every protester in the street there could likely just as many frustrated voters that feel fed up in the current environment of political correctness, cancel culture, and rioting.
Turnout in key states will decide the election and these questions will soon be answered but think twice before taking the current predictions of political pundits at face value.