Growing approval rate questioned by pollsters

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

I’ve never been a big fan of polling, specifically political polling.

Today, polling has become big business. Experts offer all sorts of mathematical logic and reasoning to justify their polling techniques.

And when their poll results are woefully off-base, they offer equally compelling logic to explain the outcome.

It’s akin to weather forecasting where you can be wrong half the time and still get paid.

Nowhere were polls more in the spotlight than in the 2016 Presidential election when virtually every poll predicted a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton.

Yet despite that major snafu, the polling business is alive and well. Political parties continue to live and die on poll results as if the resulting numbers are any more accurate than they were just two years ago.

The nasty little secret is that some polls are designed to drive public sentiment. They are much less an accurate reflection than they are an attempt to sway sentiment in one direction or another.

But sometimes, polls show a direction that runs counter to the beliefs of the poll takers.

That’s when the fun begins.

The highly-regarded Reuters/Ipsos polling firm took the unusual step of quarantining poll results this past week because they reflect a growing approval rating of President Trump.

“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,” so say poll officials.

So what in the world would have these pollsters questioning their own results?

Well the poll shows Trump with 50 percent support from swing-voting independents, 80 percent support from Republicans and 20 percent support from Democrats.

Well that can’t be accurate can it?

Listen to the anti-Trump television coverage or read the metropolitan press and you’d think that Trump’s approval is in the tank and impeachment is right around the corner.

No wonder the pollsters wanted to “quarantine” their results which clearly run counter to the prevailing narrative from the establishment crowd.

The open borders advocates must be in a tizzy over the poll’s results which showed Trump gaining 51 percent support for his immigration position. Or 60 percent support for his jobs’ program.

The pollsters must have had constipation that the results “may signal some hidden support for Trump.”

Even though I am encouraged by this most recent poll, I still put little stock in any poll on any subject.

I have to admit that 40 years ago I was tasked with conducting a political poll strictly to arrive at a predetermined result. I did. And it wasn’t very difficult.

And now, 40 years later, the same gimmicks, the same slanted questions can bring the same results.

Given the current progress on the jobs front, the diminished terrorist threat, the strong stance on immigration and the amazing turnaround in North Korea, only the pollsters are surprised by their own results.

Were it not so sad, it would almost be humorous.

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