- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 15, 2019


It’s campaign season and the Democrats are scrambling for traction, so guess what, America — make way for the weekly, daily, hourly horse race of polls. That, and the accompanying snarky pundit swipes at this current president.

And not just any polls. Polls specifically showing Democrats, the favored class of mainstream media types everywhere, are firmly in the lead.

Let the eye-rolling begin. Let’s not pretend for even a moment these surveys mean anything.

Here’s a taste of what’s passing as political prognostication these days.

“Trump, Lying, Says He’s Wiping the Floor With Joe Biden,” Vanity Fair wrote, above a story about a story from the New York Times that reported President Donald Trump was roiled about internal polls putting him behind Joe Biden in key states Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“Trump reelection polls show he’s losing,” crowed Vox.

“Donald Trump far behind Joe Biden in Michigan poll,” screamed the Detroit Free Press.

“Top 2020 Democrats best Trump in hypothetical matchups in new poll,” CNN blared.

The problem with all these stories announcing the failures Trump and the imminent, no — looming, no — unquestionably indubitably certain win of [Insert Democratic Candidate’s Name Here] come 2020 is they’re bogus.

Not to mention stupid.

Are we the people seriously to believe that Quinnipiac University’s survey, circa June 2019, showing Biden with a 53-40 lead over Trump means Biden, come Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decisively win the White House?

Especially when one counterargument is this, from Rasmussen: “The daily presidential tracking poll for Friday shows that 51% of likely U.S. voters approve of President Trump’s job performance.”

At least the liberal-leaning FiveThirtyEight is getting it right.

“Should We Take These Early General Election Polls Seriously? $#!% No!” the polling site just wrote.

Now there’s a headline that deserves much media love.

And therein lies the problem: Screaming poll-citing headlines driven by doomsday predictions about this present administration are not just good for anti-Trumping pundits in the press. They’re good for media business.

They’re conversation starters that give the news hosts something to query, the news guests something to flush out and discuss, the news analysts something to put in context, the political party pundits something to argue — and yes, the watching, listening members of the public something to chew on throughout the never-ending days of cable television. It’s off to the political horse races for us all.

That may be America’s modern political realities — the wave after wave after constant wave of political hysteria and dramatically reported numbers. That’s fine. That’s the free market, for you.

But it doesn’t mean we have to buy into all these numbers as truths — or even, as meaningful. Our collective reactions to today’s polling about tomorrow’s elections ought to be — thank you. Now who cares.

And honestly, save for the media, it probably would be.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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