Trump pollster John McLaughlin revealed a dirty little secret of the polling industry in an interview with CNS News.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, CNS News asked John McLaughlin, “Do you think they [pollsters] boosted the numbers for Biden to try to suppress the vote?”
McLaughlin, who has been a professional pollster for 35 years, said, “yes.”
The polling firms are filled with people who “have PhD’s, advanced degrees, they know statistics,” and “they know what the electorate looks like from previous exit polls and previous polling,” he said.
With the 2020 presidential race, “they went out of their way to under-poll Republicans because they knew that the president gets 90% of his support from Republicans,” said McLaughlin. “And if you lower the percent of Republicans in a poll – whatever your excuse is, you say its adults or just randomly using phone lists – you know you’re hurting the president.”
Some people might think this is sour grapes, but there’s a lot of truth in it. When you watch polls closely, what you will notice is that early on, they tend to use polls of “adults,” which heavily pad numbers for the Democrats. Many of them also deliberately undersample Republicans. Then, near the end of the race, they start trying to do more realistic numbers. Sometimes they fail anyway but they typically try. Why? Because pollsters are usually evaluated by how close their final numbers were to the real results. That’s why, so often, it seems like Republicans tend to close strong. Are they really closing strong or were they never that far behind to begin with because the pollsters were getting it wrong?
“You had major networks publishing polls with 24, 23, 25% of Republicans and exit polls from the last two presidential elections had 33%. There’s no excuse for polls where they have, putting up a headline that Biden is way ahead or Trump is losing other than you are trying to manufacture an outcome against the president, or you are totally incompetent. I refuse to believe that they are totally incompetent. I think this is an extension of the media bias that just permeates the mainstream American media. The media establishment in this country despises the ‘Chumps for Trump,’ the ‘deplorables,’ and they basically were going all out to defeat the president…”
Another reason you’ll see these kinds of poorly done polls is that the pollsters want to make headlines. Most polls don’t make the news, but polls that are outliers do. Put up a polling result that is far outside of the norm and it draws eyeballs.
The 2016 election led to the polling industry taking a well-deserved beating. Let’s hope their poor performance in 2020 will lead to some changes or at least the public becoming savvier to what they are doing.