We just finished suffering through a week where the media almost uniformly insisted that Donald Trump’s acquittal was somehow magically going to put him on a path to winning in November. Not a single pundit could explain how this was specifically going to happen, of course. Palmer Report pointed out that nothing was going to change, and acquittal would give us the same old Trump, with his same old antics, and his same old lousy approval rating.
Sure enough, a new Quinnipiac poll came out today which shows that every major Democratic candidate is leading Donald Trump in a head to head matchup by anywhere from four to nine points. This falls right in line with all the other recent polls which say the same thing. Individual polls can be wrong, but the polling averages are usually proven accurate, and the averages say that Trump is in the same hole that he was in before he was acquitted. In other words, just as Palmer Report predicted, nothing appears to have changed.
There is one caveat here, however. Quinnipiac has also released a new poll today which claims that the Democratic 2020 primary race has suddenly been completely upended in the wake of the Iowa caucus. Nearly every Democratic candidate has jumped up or down several points – some of them by nearly double digits – since the last time this same Quinnipiac poll was conducted two weeks ago. This poll is clearly, laughably, gibberish. For one thing, candidates in a high profile race don’t see their numbers jump around this severely, this swiftly, unless they either rescue a baby from a burning building or they punch a baby. It’s painfully clear that Quinnipiac has changed its polling methodology over the past two weeks, which is how the polls get a bad name.
If you want further proof that this poll is illegitimate gibberish, all you have to do is look at the other new national polls, which show that Iowa didn’t have any impact on the Democratic primary race. But of course a wacky outlier poll like this always gets lapped up by the media, because shock value keeps people tuned in and delivers ratings.
The trouble here is that if the new Quinnipiac primary poll is this laugh-out-loud illegitimate, can we really trust the new Quinnipiac general election poll? That’s certainly a concern. But again, individual poll numbers are to be ignored. Polling averages are to be taken seriously. And the polling averages say that Donald Trump is in the same hole he’s always been in. He’s not even currently in contention for 2020, and he’ll have to find a way to significantly broaden his support if he wants another term.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report