ABC-Ipsos’s new poll – which ostensibly shows President Trump in trouble – surveyed just 533 people, without a preference for likely or registered voters, and with a significant Democratic Party skew.
The poll – cited across the news media on Sunday – purported to show the public at odds with the President over the coronavirus pandemic as well as the widely debunked story about his supposedly derogatory comments about the military.
But the poll is almost less scientific than a Twitter survey, given who was polled and in what percentages and ratios.
STACKING THE DECK.
In total, the poll quizzed 31 percent Democrats, and just 25 percent Republicans. The pollsters also surveyed 38 percent self-identified independents.
In a telling detail, pollster Ipsos actually refused to reveal these party breakdown numbers on their website and in their PDF of the poll. Instead, they opaquely state: “Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls.”
Recent ABC/Washington Post polls also stacked the decks in favor of Biden supporters, with the July polling quizzing 522 Biden supporters versus 399 Trump supporters. That amounts to a 27 percent inbuilt bias for Biden supporters.
ABC News itself was more up front about the numbers, revealing the stark difference between Democrats and Republicans surveyed.
The poll also failed to approach registered or likely voters: a key factor when attempting to rely on polling as a means by which to inform an election.
Instead, they reveal:
This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted September 11 to September 12, 2020 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 533 general population adults age 18 or older.
The revelations about such shoddy polling brings to mind the warnings of the late Christopher Hitchens, who once wrote in Harper’s magazine: “Opinion polling was born out of a struggle not to discover the public mind but to master it.”
He continued: “…Polls are deployed only when they might prove useful — that is, helpful to the powers that be in their question to maintain their position and influence. Indeed, the polling industry is a powerful ally of depoliticization and its counterpart which is consensus.”