A recent Fox News poll shows presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden with an eight point lead over President Donald Trump in the general election. As with any poll taken in a pandemic, panic-gripped world, the results should be taken with massive grains of both salt and narrative.
The Real Clear Politics polling average has shown Biden ahead for months. In the month of July alone, Biden’s lead has fluctuated between +3 and +15. But for what reason would anyone trust the polling? It’s as if four years ago never happened, when, at this time in the race, then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had, what we were told, was a commanding lead.
Of the 25 polls recorded in the month of July, Hillary led in 19 of them. Of the weekend just past (7/17-7/19,) Trump led one by +1 and Hillary led one by +4. In the week that followed, Trump led in four different polls, from between +1 to +7. By the end of July, 2019, Hillary was leading in the polls by +8 and +9. Media never looked past the polls to check their validity or understand the people who took them; they simply pushed the narrative. Hillary to victory!
And that was without a virus that has become so horrifically politicized that any rational-thinking American should be disgusted. California has returned to shutdowns, pushing down the economy that has looked forward to resurgence. Politicos have put unions over parents and students, demanding schools not re-open, or be only virtual; to be clear, multiple Democrats have proudly used school-aged children as a weapon to be wielded against Trump’s election chances. And media has deliberately played along in this fear-mongering about schools.
MSNBC’s Craig Melvin introduced a story that featured the opinions of five doctors talking about returning to school, and the expression on his face when the story ended said it all. All five doctors said there was no reason not to send kids back to school:
When the camera cut back to Melvin, he was gobsmacked. His face drawn in disbelief, he looked almost regretfully into the camera. “They said yes” is all he could muster. Yes, to going to back to school. Yes, to getting on with our lives. Yes, to facts and science over the fear and impulsiveness that brought us the decisions in and around Indianapolis, Indiana schools and elsewhere. (Indianapolis has only delayed at this moment, while the north suburb of Washington Township and school districts around the area have opted for e-learning only, and with nearly non-existent input from parents.)
It also brought the sickening demagoguery out of Los Angeles, where teachers are happy to have school again….if the city defunds the police and caps charter schools.
But even when their own reporting tells them where Americans are at, they choose the narrative. Defeating Trump is job number one at CNN/MSNBC/ABC/NBC/CBS/NYT/WAPO/VOX Incorporated.
Coronavirus has made polling untrustworthy. And no poll matters that comes before a debate between Biden and Trump. While Hillary had her definite health issues, Biden’s mental acuity is a subject of serious debate. His political future depends on his ability to get through a debate without gaffe-tastic failure!
And let us at least come clean with each other – America will not accept a debate-less election. If Biden doesn’t show up on stage, he loses. (The other side of this is that politics is an expectations game. If he does debate, and does just “better than expected,” then he will have opened up enormous opportunities for victory. Also – placing my bet here – if he does do well in the first debate, watch how quickly his team cancels any future debates!)
The polling out of Pennsylvania backs up why polling right now should not be trusted. In a Monmouth University poll, Biden topped Trump by 13 points in the Keystone State. But, when people were asked who would win the state, they broke almost dead even. Why? Secret Trump Voters, of course:
But the poll shows that registered voters are divided on whether they expect the president or Biden will win Pennsylvania in the end. One reason may be that 57 percent of registered voters questioned said they believe there’s a sizeable amount of so-called secret voters in their communities who back Trump but won’t tell anyone about their support. Only 27 percent said they believe there are secret voters for the former vice president.
Truth is, the Secret Trump Voter is not such a secret. We know that Americans lie to pollsters. We know that people sadly hide being on the political right from friends, co-workers and family for fear of retribution of all types. We know from 2016 that the polls were wrong: Of the final 10 polls before the 2016 election, only one went for Trump. The media told us it was going to be Hillary’s night, only to find themselves stunned as the results came in, and the polls – and their own lies! – failed them.
At this point, there is no knowing what will really move the voter in 2020: coronavirus, the economy, China, health care, law and order, character? They could all be the top priority in the exit polls. But those betting on the polls of today – ignoring history and the secretive among us – are betting blind.