A recent survey conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News has sparked controversy by showing Donald Trump leading Joe Biden by a 10-point margin. However, many experts and Democrats question the credibility of this poll result and suspect it may simply be an outlier poll.
What Is an Outlier
An outlier, in the realm of polling, refers to a survey result that deviates significantly from the statistical average.
Outlier results risk potentially skewing the overall perception of public sentiment.
A Closer Race
In this case, the 10-point lead that the Post/ABC poll suggests for Donald Trump appears to be an outlier.
Most other national polls depict a much closer race between the two candidates, with neither holding a clear advantage when considering the margin of error.
The Post/ABC Poll’s Unique Characteristics
One of the concerns raised about the Post/ABC poll is its track record.
Nate Cohn, a polling expert at The New York Times, pointed out peculiarities in previous surveys from this collaboration. Cohn noted unusual patterns in Joe Biden’s support among nonwhite and young voters in their results.
A Lingering Embarrassment
Larry Sabato, an elections expert at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, posted on social media, “How could you even publish a poll so absurd on its face? Will be a lingering embarrassment for you.”
However, it’s essential to remember that the poll’s overall finding, which indicates Joe Biden trailing his opponent, may still carry some validity.
The current president faces increasing concerns related to his age, a factor that Donald Trump has not faced to the same extent.
Additionally, the GOP continues its efforts to tarnish the image of Joe Biden’s son and make allegations of questionable dealings involving foreign interests, although these allegations have not been conclusively proven.
Trump’s Continuing Support
Donald Trump maintains a strong base of loyalty among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents, although some pollsters have questioned whether these groups were overrepresented in the Post/ABC poll.
However, Trump still faces significant opposition from Democrats and independents in other polling.
Joe Biden’s Approval Rating Among Independents
The poll also suggests that Joe Biden’s approval rating among independents stands at 36 percent, a figure consistent with other polls, including a Reuters/Ipsos poll from August that reported a slightly higher approval rating.
A Concern With Independents
This finding indicates that Biden’s support among independents is a real concern, not merely an outlier in this particular poll.
Real Concerns Beyond the Outlier
While the Post/ABC poll may be an outlier, it doesn’t diminish the real concerns that exist, as reflected in other polls that align more closely with the statistical norm.
To gain a clearer understanding of the political landscape, it’s essential for Democrats and journalists to analyze polls from key swing states that will play a crucial role in the upcoming election.
For instance, in Wisconsin, an Emerson College poll showed Biden leading by only one percentage point, while in Arizona, he trailed his 2020 rival by the same margin, according to a recent Emerson poll from August.
In response to the poll, some people seem to support Trump unwaveringly, while others continue to doubt the validity of the poll.
One social media user commented, “The polls are complete garbage & I just ignore them. It’s been so obvious since before 2020.”
However, ABC’s Gary Langer seems to think this might be part of a bigger trend, stating, “Since many results are negative toward Biden, it follows that he’s lagging in 2024 support…those sentiments are real, have been consistently negative in recent surveys and clearly mark Biden’s challenges ahead.”
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