With the November Presidential elections less than five months away, a number of media polls have emerged that show President Trump trailing behind Biden. But poll experts, like John McLaughlin, believe the public should take the numbers with a grain of salt, especially when those numbers fit into a ready-made narrative.
Last Sunday, an NBC poll found President Trump down 7 points to Biden, and Monday CNN said that its polls indicated that the President was 14 points behind the Democratic nominee.
McLaughlin unpacked the facts behind the polls for The Cats Roundtable, and spoke some truth on how polls are often “not telling you the whole story.”
According to McLaughlin, polls like CNN’s, favor Democratic participation while undercounting Republicans, and also failing to make the important distinction between eligible voters and likely voters.
Polling likely voters “makes a difference” in the results. McLaughlin pointed to a CBS poll that showed a “virtual dead heat” between Biden and Trump. But those results won’t work for a “drive-by headline.”
McLaughlin also explained that supporters of Trump are much more likely to be skeptical to participate in a poll they believe is unfair.
“The mainstream media and their outrage of Donald Trump—their bias that they’re trying to defeat him—is really transparent to most voters,” McLaughlin explained.
“When Donald Trump gets over 90 percent of the Republicans to vote for him, every point you short the Republicans from their real turn out, you’re gonna short Donald Trump a point.”
McLaughlin believes media polls are “skewed away” from Trump and his support base, and reflect the media’s “anti-Trump” beat.
Despite a global health pandemic, Depression-era unemployment, and widespread social unrest, President Trump’s base has remained solid. Even as the economy bounces back from the shutdown, with 2.5 million jobs added in May, McLaughlin explained that media polls often ask questions that intentionally minimize the President’s accomplishments.
“You’ve got this media bias that’s trying to discourage Trump voters from coming out and proving those media polls wrong again,” he said, referring to the media polls in 2016 that had Hilary Clinton winning against Trump.
But McLaughlin said that biased poll numbers aren’t going to deter the President’s campaign. He told The Cats Roundtable that Trump is focused on keeping himself ahead of polls that “water down” Republicans.
“We’re going to run like they’re behind,” he said, telling the Cats Roundtable that the President is relying on his administration’s goals, and not the media polls, to speak for his reelection.
“It’s going to be an issue: trying to make this race a contrast between what Donald Trump wants to do and Joe Biden would do,” McLaughlin said. “That’s the challenge for our campaign, and we’re going to do that.”
Listen to the interview below