The media has hopped all over three new Quinnipiac University polls showing Trump leading Clinton in Pennsylvania and Florida, but the problem is that Quinnipiac is rigging their polls for the best possible Trump outcome.
The new Quinnipiac polls show Trump leading Clinton 43%-41% in Pennsylvania, 42%-39% in Florida, and tied with Clinton 41%-41% in Ohio. These numbers do not match national polling, which has shown no movement towards Trump, so what’s going on here?
To understand why Quinnipiac’s polls are always more favorable to Trump, it is important to look at the assumptions that Quinnipiac makes about the composition of the 2016 electorate. Each Quinnipiac University poll assumes that white voter turnout will go up, African-American turnout will stay the same, and Hispanic turnout will drop.
The chart below shows white voter turnout in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in 2012 versus Quinnipiac’s 2016 projections:
If Quinnipiac’s white voter turnout was adjusted to actual voter turnout levels, Clinton would lead by 3 points in Pennsylvania, 5 points in Ohio, and be tied in Florida.
However, the oversampling of white voters is only half of the problem. Quinnipiac’s polling also underrepresents minorities.
Quinnipiac University is polling an electorate that is extremely favorable to Donald Trump. Any Republican is going to win a presidential election if white turnout increases and minority turnout drops. The reality of turnout statistics is that the opposite has been happening. White turnout has been decreasing while non-white turnout is growing rapidly.
Quinnipiac is projecting an electorate that is nothing like who are likely to vote in November.
Since their polling is built on flawed assumptions that are not going to happen on Election Day, no one should take Quinnipiac’s pro-Republican polls seriously. Quinnipiac University’s polling is deeply flawed and a perfect example of why the media and voters should not treat all polls as credible.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association