A poll carried out by Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday purports to show that President Donald Trump is thought to be unfit for office by 56% of the respondents. Headlines are running that say the majority of Americans have this view. But the poll itself is not exactly a fair representation.
While it is true that in answer to the question: “Do you think Donald Trump is fit to serve as president, or not?” 56% gave a negative response, but a closer look at who was polled and how, gives a slightly different view.
PARTY IDENTIFICATION OF THOSE POLLED:
- Republican 26%
- Democrat 31%
- Independent 35%
- Other/DK/NA 9%
In contrast, the most recent numbers on party affiliation shows Republicans at 29% of the population, Democrats 30% and Independents 40%. Of the Independents, it’s a near even split on Republican (45%) vs Democrat (47%) “leaning” as well.
So more Democrats were polled than Republicans and Independents were underrepresented as well. If the sampling had been accurate, the result most likely would not have shown a majority view of the President as unfit.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that for political surveys, it is a common “trick” among politically active respondents to claim that they are “other, don’t know, or not applicable,” to ensure that their responses get in. For example, if the resondent was a Democrat voter and the pollsters already had enough Democrats, then it helps to skew the results by claiming a different party affiliation or “undecided”. People who take the time to answer 60 plus political poll questions are very likely to be “politically active.”
The sampling issues are only the tip of the iceberg, though. When you look at the other poll questions you find another potential motivating factor contributing to the results of the Presidential fitness question. The vast majority of respondents held a much more negative view of Congress, the Senate Republicans in particular. To the question: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Republicans in Congress are handling their job?” The Republican Congress received a dismal 15% approval rating driven largely by the Senate’s legislative failures. Clearly President Trump has a greater approval than his party as a whole in Congress.
Oddly enough, when the same question was asked of the Democrats, they only scored a 29% approval rating even with the poll weighted in their favor. If the poll respondents we more balanced, Trump would have a higher approval rating than either of the Congressional caucuses.
There was also a selection of heavily biased questions such as: “Do you believe Donald Trump is intelligent or not?” This gives you an idea of how people respond not based on what they believe, but on what they want the outcome of the poll to be. 60% of Whites said that he was intelligent, 52% of Hispanics, and just 28% of Blacks. Is there really a completely different scale on which different races view or assess intelligence, or is it something different? Could it be a result of constant media allegations of racism and some Black respondents and far-left ideologues wished to denigrate the President by calling him stupid?
There is a clear divide between the opinions of Blacks and Whites in this poll (although very little between Whites and Hispanics) on questions that regard “outward answers,” opinions on other people. However, to a far lesser degree on issues that involve just personal feeling. Just like all the polls that projected a Hillary Clinton presidency, these polls are designed to be divisive and produce a pre-set outcome. In truth, we are all a lot closer than they’d have us believe.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.