At Palmer Report, we tend to be rather skeptical of individual polls – emphasizing a look at the averages when it comes to any particular race, and even then, there’s always a slim margin of error that can make the difference in close races – with the 2024 election being a potentially close one.
We recently demonstrated that the news media always loves to hype a single particular poll and claim that it reveals everything, rather than bothering to report on the averages which would make for less of a story. Unfortunately, just after we ran that article, CNN didn’t disappoint, with a poll that has much of social media in a rage.
The CNN poll demonstrates, among other things, that President Biden is trailing every Republican challenger with the exception of Vivek Ramaswamy – even if it’s just by a few points. Of course, by simply looking at the cross tabs of this poll, a few things stand out as obvious. Even though the poll claims to have sampled around 1600 people, less than 400 of them were Democrats and/or Democratic leaning independents.
That tells a much different story – that even with a nearly two-thirds conservative oversampling, the race still shows a virtual tie – but, it also invites more questions on the poll’s methodology. Apart from the fact that polls are largely meaningless this early in an election, this should give you pause when it comes to any story about polling in this next election – just turn it all off and ignore it while doing what you can to get out the vote.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making