Democrats simply rejected a new Washington Post/ABC News poll that shows President Joe Biden losing by double-digits in a head-to-head general election matchup against former President Donald Trump.
The news outlets behind the poll seemed to anticipate the backlash even as they released the findings on Sunday. "The difference between this poll and others, as well as the unusual makeup of Trump’s and Biden’s coalitions in this survey, suggest it is probably an outlier," cautioned the Post. "Question order can be a factor," advised ABC News.
Other media were similarly apologetic in reporting the results.
Politico: "Polling more than a year before an election, when most voters are not paying attention and we don’t know the outcome of the big events that will shape that election—the Trump trials, Biden’s health, the state of the economy, events in Congress, new Supreme Court opinions, the effects of billions of dollars in advertising—is interesting but doesn’t tell us much beyond what we already know: that the election will be close and that either Trump or Biden could win."
New York Times: "... it included a general-election result that was far outside the range that other high-quality polls have found recently, which raised questions about the Post/ABC poll’s accuracy."
Axios: "Reality check: The Post acknowledged today that the poll results are 'probably an outlier.'
"Trump's sizable lead 'is significantly at odds with other public polls that show the general election contest a virtual dead heat.'"
I deleted a post about an ABC/Washington Post poll of the Biden/Trump matchup because I quickly got some smart DMs pointing out that some of its findings seem absurd. It's probably wise not to rile people up based on questionable polling, especially this far out from Nov 2024.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2023
For many Democrats, though, the media's soft-pedaling of the poll was not good enough.
Larry Sabato, Democratic pollster: "Ignore the Washington Post - ABC poll. It’s a ridiculous outlier (Trump up 10 over Biden—laughable). My question: How could you even publish a poll so absurd on its face? Will be a lingering embarrassment for you."
Matt Barreto, Democratic pollster: "... you should probably just ignore it and move on."
Cornell Belcher, Democratic strategist: "This poll indefensible. & we need a conversation abt the ethics of media driving narratives frm this data."
Andrew Bates, White House deputy press secretary: "Check the flux capacitor, @ABCPolitics."
Malcom Kenyatta, Democratic Pennsylvania state lawmaker: "Many reasons to ignore this poll, but this [the finding that Trump leads Biden by 20 points among voters under age 35] is probably the most laughable part."
"Joe Biden is going to win millennials and Gen Z by huge margins — and in so doing win re-election."
Chris Jackson, Democratic Tennessee election commissioner: "The poll ... released this morning is being called an outlier by the people who did it, but the media will run with anyway. ...
"I'm gonna be honest. I really dislike the media. Like really."
Victor Shi, Democratic activist: "Mark my words: That poll is absolute trash & under no circumstance will that ever be the case. Shame on the Washington Post for even including that poll."
While the Post-ABC News was unusual in the size of the advantage it found for Trump, it was in keeping with years of increasingly bad polling for Biden, including another one released on Sunday, by NBC News.
NBC News: "[W]hat also stands out in the poll are the warning signs for Biden beyond his age—including an all-time high disapproval of his job performance, fewer than 4 in 10 voters approving of his handling of the economy and lagging interest in the election among key parts of the Democratic base."
Trump holds an advantage over Biden in the seven states where the 2020 presidential election was closest, according to a new poll.https://t.co/AYB0nEstGG
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) September 15, 2023
It's really really hard to release outlying poll results, so you've got to give credit to ABC/Post here, but I do have a fairly major quibble with ABC/Post here: if you release consecutive 'outlying' poll results -- R+7 in May, R+10 today -- you don't get to dismiss your results
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) September 24, 2023
In a related story, the most recent 5 major polls has Trump's support among Black voters at 20 percent, more than triple of what Romney received in 2012. Trump is also getting 42 percent of the Hispanic vote in the same poll. If this holds, and it should, lights out for Biden. https://t.co/sq7oYHwPJS
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 22, 2023
Flashback: Trump was once widely criticized for rejecting unfavorable polls.
CNN: "Donald Trump Just Accidentally Told the Truth About His View on Polls":
Exactly one week ago, I wrote these words: "If you listen to him long enough – no easy chore – Donald Trump will tell you all his secrets."
Well, he did it again.
During his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend, Trump let loose with this line explaining his strategy on polling:
"If it’s bad, I say it’s fake. If it’s good, I say that’s the most accurate poll ever."
Yup. That about captures it!