A new poll showing Donald Trump leading Hillary Clinton by 4 points in Ohio set the media buzzing, but a look at the polling data reveals that CNN under polled younger voters.
CNN touted their new poll of Ohio as Trump making gains in swing states, “With eight weeks to go before Election Day, Donald Trump holds a narrow lead over Hillary Clinton in Ohio and the two are locked in a near-even contest in Florida, according to new CNN/ORC polls in the two critical battleground states.”
Well, that certainly sounds dramatic, but a look at the crosstabs of the poll shows that things may not be exactly what CNN is suggesting they are in the Buckeye State.
There was something odd about the age of the respondents:
Younger voters are not listed.
This could be a mistake in the CNN/ORC Poll crosstabs, but it is also easy to understand how Trump suddenly got a lead in Ohio when CNN under polled younger voters.
The CNN poll is a good reminder that all polls, whether they contain good or bad news for the candidate that you support, should be taken with a big grain of salt.
Update: It turns out that CNN did poll voters under 50, but the reason why their crosstabs showed no data was because they polled too few younger voters. Younger voters have made up 44%-51% of those who voted in the last three election cycles. CNN’s sample was made of 18% younger voters. In essence, CNN cut the number of younger voters in Ohio in half.
Donald Trump will definitely win Ohio if no one under the age of 50 comes out to vote, but that is not going to happen. It may just be an error, but if CNN shaped their numbers to get a newsworthy headline, it would serve as a perfect example how news networks use their polling to make the news instead of reporting on it.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a 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