The result of ANY poll can be predetermined…

…The result of ANY poll can be predetermined…

Keep in mind whenever Trump tweets about polling

 

By Philip Bump April 16 at 7:00 AM Email the author

 

For the third time in two weeks, President Trump on Sunday touted poll numbers that showed half the country approving of the job he’s doing as president.

“Just hit 50% in the Rasmussen Poll, much higher than President Obama at same point,” Trump wrote, with his characteristically idiosyncratic capitalization. “With all of the phony stories and Fake News, it’s hard to believe! Thank you America, we are doing Great Things.”

That tweet provides a great opportunity to review some of the ways in which Trump uses poll numbers to present a rosier case for his presidency than is warranted. So let’s do so.

1. Rasmussen Reports polls are consistently friendlier to Trump (and were more unfavorable to Obama) than most polls.

The pollster uses an unusual pool for its polls, talking only to “likely voters” — a nebulous descriptor for a subset of the population that doesn’t try to approximate the views of all Americans. Often, likely voter pools lean more heavily Republican because, well, Republicans are often more likely to vote. (Even in this year, when Democrats consistently say they’re more motivated to vote, the end result is that Democrats are about as likely to vote as Republicans.) Rasmussen calls only landline phones, supplementing that pool with an online survey. It’s an unorthodox methodology that has produced mixed results.

But those results have a consistent pattern. From the day of each president’s inauguration through April 14 of his second year in office, Rasmussen released hundreds of poll results assessing Obama and Trump’s national approval.

 

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