Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Poll Testing Conspiracy

Today a new poll came out from Qunnipiac University that shows Donald Trump virtually tied with Hillary Clinton in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I'm going to say up front that I don't believe this polling. One observation that Rush Limbaugh has made about the media is that polls no longer reflect the news, polls drive the news:

"Polling data to news organizations and professional politicians, it's gospel.  They live and die by it. They don't even look at polling data as a reflection of public opinion.  It is, but that's not how they use it.  They use it to actually make news, and they use it to try to shape public opinion, not reflect it."

As I was reading about the Qunnipiac poll this morning it struck me that there might be some reason why this poll looks the way it does. I start with two basic assumptions:

1. The media and Democratic party (but I repeat myself) wants Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. There are many reasons for this including ratings, a desire to destroy the Republican party, and a desire to have Hillary Clinton be the next President.
2. Much of the Republican party is not willing to get behind Trump.

So here's my (admittedly conspiratorial) sequence of events that are the reason this poll exists:
1. Media puts out a skewed poll out that shows that Trump could win (when in reality there's no chance).
2. This causes both the Democratic base to become more energized for Hillary and also convinces more Republicans to support Trump.
3. Those Republicans who are trying to either block Trump's nomination or put together a third-party nominee, who already have a major challenge, will get blocked because of the shift of support.
3. After Trump officially becomes the nominee the polls will shift back towards reality (Trump losing in a landslide). This will accelerate after the Democratic convention in July.
4. The 2016 Presidential race is the ratings bonanza that the media wants, and the outcome is a Hillary Clinton presidency, which the media also wants.

Am I reading too much into this? Probably. Could this backfire? Definitely. Time will tell if I'm being too conspiratorial, too naive, or too wrong.