• Veteran Pollster Warns: Beware Skewed, Sloppy, Biased Polling

    Surge Summary: Respected pollster John McLaughlin cautions: poll results are being massaged by careless methodologies and poorly formulated questions – including a recent poll that signaled a majority of Americans support the president’s impeachment.

    Political candidates typically take issue with poll results — – particularly when facing unwelcome news. Still, that doesn’t mean pollsters are always to be trusted.

    Just ask John McLaughlin.

    A well-respected veteran pollster, McLaughlin was a trusted confidant of Donald Trump while he was running for president three years ago. He claims left-wing bias and dubious methods are skewing polling results. These warped outcomes, he says, include a recent, much-touted survey that suggests a majority of Americans want the current president impeached.

    Billy Davis over at OneNewsNow writes,

    There is no greater example of bad polling, he told radio talk show host Sandy Rios, than the 2016 presidential campaign in which polls predicted Hillary Clinton would easily win the White House and all but trounce Donald Trump.

    Yet the Trump campaign, advised by McLaughlin, was assured that the biased polls did not reflect frustrated voters in Rust Belt states and in Florida, and the pollster advised the campaign hours before Election Day that GOP turnout would secure key battleground states and give Trump an electoral win over the much-favored Clinton.

    With more than 240 million eligible voters in the U.S., McLaughlin recalled, a record turnout of 139 million cast a ballot in 2016 and handed Trump a sizeable Electoral College win despite losing the popular vote to Clinton.

    McLaughlin was interviewed Monday morning on Rios’s show on American Family Radio. He was in the news earlier this year after surviving a White House move in which Trump dismissed several polling firms but kept on board McLaughlin and Associates

    The Hill reported in an Oct. 12 story that some analysts interpreted the firings as the President’s keeping “yes men” around him, i.e., those who were delivering to him polling numbers he wanted to hear. That claim was disputed by many others, however, who pointed out McLaughlin is respected by numerous GOP politicians; that he relays “straight up”, reliable figures.

    A recent, much-publicized Fox News poll that indicated a majority of Americans favor impeaching the president also came under McLaughlin’s fire. He charges it was both sloppy and biased: self-identified Democrats in it outnumbered Republicans by eleven percent, warping results. He added to Rios, the questions that were asked were also poorly worded.

    “The same media that put their bias to the polls in 2016, that were saying there was no way Donald Trump could win, Hillary had an electoral vote,” McLaughlin told the radio program, “are being done with the same bad methodologies.”

    The current slate of political polls are often done on the cheap because newsrooms don’t want to fork over the money for a list of registered voters, McLaughlin advised, and therefore polls often don’t reflect the number of likely voters. Left-wing bias is also a major factor, he added.

    Even on the well-read RealClearPolitics website, McLaughlin said, only one current poll surveyed likely voters.

    “Which is significant,” he told Rios.

    Regarding the Fox News poll, McLaughlin said former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes would have never allowed that sloppy poll to be published, but instead it repeatedly led the news cycle as reliable and newsworthy.

    Practical application: Be wary of polls. Never allow one poll to dictate your conclusions. Remember, pollsters – like scientists, doctors, lawyers, plumbers, athletes, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers; i.e., human beings of every stripe – are flawed and fallible.

    H/T: Billy Davis/OneNewsNow

    Image by bernswaelz from Pixabay 

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