The media is making a big deal out of a new poll that shows Trump leading Biden in five of six battleground states, but experts are cautioning that voters should ignore it.
Director of Data and Analytics at ABC News/538, G. Elliot Morris tweeted:
three reminders about polling:
(1) individual polls are subject to a lot of sampling + nonsampling error
(2) partisan nonresponse can impact different demographic groups differently
(3) polls taken 360 days before an election are not predictive of outcomes
— G Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) November 5, 2023
The University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato tweeted:
For those moaning about the latest NYTimes/Siena Poll:
–Election is a full year away.
–Biden’s likely opponent faces 91 counts in multiple jurisdictions.
–Economy is clearly improving, but it takes many months for voters to perceive and believe it.
Keep calm. Carry on.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) November 5, 2023
The Fatal Flaw In All Current Presidential Public Polling
There is a fatal flaw in all current public polling. The polls are treating Trump like he is a normal presidential candidate. The reality is that Donald Trump is a candidate who will spend much of the 2024 presidential campaign on trial in multiple jurisdictions for 91 criminal felony counts. The polling can’t measure the impact that the trials will have because the trials have not started yet.
The polling should not be trusted at all. Polling this far out from election day is not accurate or reliable. Polling that doesn’t consider what is likely to be the biggest story of 2024 and how it will impact the election is completely irrelevant.
The media needs a close election, or the perception that an election is close to create drama. In theory, drama equals higher ratings which equals more ad dollars.
At this point, pollsters might as well be asking about the 2028 election, because polls roughly a year before election day are inaccurate, and not predictive.
Jason 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