About that ‘widening lead’ Hillary supposedly has? Not so fast.
How can you break down polls? Lots of ways. Look at the poison pill this supposedly ‘Hillary-friendly’ poll has lurking inside.
Polls are data. Numbers. By themselves, they tell us absolutely nothing.
Data, by nature requires INTERPRETATION. And this is the step where things get skewed.
Sharyl Attkisson shows exactly how this can be applied to the current election polling.
She has written earlier pieces showing how numbers can be interpreted for the benefit of your own candidate. Now she’s dissecting the WaPo/ABC poll… which puts Hillary 8 points ahead of Trump.
The poll interviewed 10% more people who identify as Democrats (33%) than Republicans (23%), with the largest group (36%) calling themselves independent. So with 10% more Democrats than Republicans questioned, Clinton leads Trump by 8-points.
Even more interesting, the same Democrat-heavy sample favored Obama by a larger 10-point margin over Romney in 2012: 36% Obama to 26% Romney (with 32% saying they didn’t vote). We know this because the poll asked respondents how they voted in 2012. So today, Trump is outperforming Romney with the exact same Democrat-heavy sample of voters.
In other words, the same Democrat-heavy sample of Americans that gave Obama a 10-point edge in 2012, gives Clinton a slightly smaller lead, 8-points, in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll.
Further, this particular sample has not proven to be representative in the past. Of those who said they voted in 2012, they gave Obama a hefty 15-point edge over Romney: 54% to 39%. But the actual general election was a much tighter 4-point race: 51% Obama, 47% Romney. So Romney ended up performing 8-points better and Obama 3-points worse than this Democrat-heavy sample group reflected.
Read the full breakdown on her website.
Even though there were more Democrats than Republicans that responded, this was not reported in the poll’s findings. Which is pretty common.