WaPo: Neither Trump Nor Cruz can Beat Clinton
by Right Wing Fighter
The Washington Post has an article out stressing the results of a new NBC-WSJ poll. The poll has Clinton underwater in her negative image with voters (32% view her favorably, 56% view her negatively). Trump meanwhile is worse off than Clinton in this poll (24% favorable, 65% negative). Cruz isn’t too much different than Clinton (26% favorable, 49% unfavorable).
There are several problems with this poll though. First, we are seven months from the election. Any polls take now mean absolutely nothing. Polls tell you what the electorate is thinking right now, and voters often change their minds before finally voting.
Two, one of the poll co-conductors is NBC, which is one of the most anti-republican, anti-conservative networks in existence. The other co-conductor of the poll is the Wall Street Journal, which avidly hates both Cruz and Trump.
Three, in a normal election, these poll results would be troublesome (provided they came from a different source than NBC). But this is not a normal election. Instead of being stuck with a wooden candidate that can’t motivate people (Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, George Bush, H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford), the likely nominee is Donald Trump, who connects with people, their fears and aspirations, and thus has a great chance at winning big in November. People actually have a reason to vote for Trump, since they feel, with good reason, that he is concerned about them and can solve the nation’s problems.
Four, polls tend to be wildly inaccurate months before an election, but tend to grow more accurate as the election looms. One reason for this is that when an election is months away, if the poll turns out to have been inaccurate, the pollster can chalk it up to being just too far away to accurately predict. But when an election is close, a pollster has to be nearly as accurate as he can be to protect his reputation. In this way pollsters can safely manipulate public opinion with their polls when the election is months away.
Five, the voters tend to differ widely months before an election, but as the election draws near they usually tighten up. For instance, Reagan frequently trailed Carter by as much as ten points months before the election, but as election day drew close, the polls tightened. In that case the American people had reached a state of near equilibrium between Reagan and Carter; which equilibrium the famous Reagan-Carter debate broke decisively for Reagan. We saw the same exact thing with Mitt Romney in 2012. For months he distantly trailed Obama, but as election day drew near the polls tightened up. Again that state of near equilibrium was reached, but unlike with Reagan, Romney didn’t knock out Obama with a great debate performance. And so Obama won a somewhat narrow victory over Romney, just like Carter was on track to do before his debate with Reagan. I imagine the edge both Obama and Carter had was because of incumbency.
Six, polls are conducted by political animals. Polls aren’t the product of impartial third parties. Of course, a pollster has to watch his reputation, since without that his polls are worthless. But there is always the temptation to sway polls to help a favored issue or candidate.
So in short, I don’t think this particular poll is worth anything.