A new batch of polling from Quinnipiac University is turning heads today, as it shows Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump essentially tied in three swing states.
In Florida and Pennsylvania, the survey has Clinton beating Trump by just a single point, while Clinton trails Trump by four points in the all-important battleground state of Ohio.
In a year filled with countless polls showing Clinton solidly leading Trump in most hypothetical match-ups, the media quickly seized on Quinnipiac’s findings and treated it as a sign that the spray-tanned billionaire is gaining ground on the former Secretary of State.
Don’t buy the hype.
Relative to other polling, virtually all of Quinnipiac’s general election polling this year has leaned toward the Republican candidate. With other polls taken into account, the Q poll looks more like an outlier than an indication that Trump is closing in on Clinton.
In Ohio, for example, every survey – except for Quinnipiac’s – taken throughout this campaign has found the former Secretary of State leading the New York businessman. Clinton beats Trump by over five percentage points in Ohio if you take the average of every non-Q poll since March.
So, why is this poll wrong and the others showing Clinton ahead probably more accurate? The answer to that is simple: demographics.
The folks at Quinnipiac University missed the memo because the poll they released today is based on the impossible assumption that 2016 will defy decades of trends and become more white, not less. Thus, Trump’s support is inflated in each state they polled.
So unfortunately for The Donald, who excitedly posted this poll on his Facebook page today, there will not be a surge of white voters heading to cast their ballots in November. If anything, the non-white electorate Trump has so joyously denigrated during his campaign will show up in large numbers to oppose him.
Today’s poll certainly made for an exciting – and, for liberals, frightening – piece of cable news fodder, but we should just discard it and move on.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.