Kamala Harris Doesn’t Understand How Polling Works

No, a 'Fox News poll' is not a poll of Fox News viewers.

Kamala Harris
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• December 16, 2019 5:05 pm


Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) failed to realize that news organizations do not just survey their own viewers when she used Fox News poll results to exaggerate popular support for impeachment.

The failed presidential candidate said a Fox News poll, which found that about half of voters support impeachment, demonstrated that "even viewers of Trump’s favorite network are turning on him."

Like most major news outlets, Fox News teams up with dedicated polling firms that survey a nationally representative sample of random Americans by telephone. The poll cited by Harris sampled 1,000 registered voters and slightly over-sampled Democratic-leaning voters, 46 percent to 41 percent.

Harris's claim would've been disastrous for Trump if true, given that Fox News's viewership heavily skews Republican. But the Fox News poll showed that the president's base mostly supports him: 84 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of conservatives, and 89 percent of Trump voters oppose impeachment.

This isn't the first time Harris has exhibited ignorance about the polling industry. In October, she told CNN's Anderson Cooper that she was a "top-tier candidate" in the 2020 Democratic primary, despite only polling at four percent.