Thanks to the Electoral College and whatever the political fallout of impeachment will be, the Democrats already have enough concerns over a 2020 election where all four of the frontrunners, plus Michael Bloomberg, hold leads over Donald Trump in national polling. This poll is a Fox News poll from two days ago:
However, if you’re feeling a little insecure even about national polling — did voters suddenly stop hating Donald Trump because of impeachment? WTF? — this tweet from Donald Trump is not likely to improve your mood.
The new USA Today Poll, just out, has me leading all of the Democrat contenders. That’s hard to believe since the Fake News & 3 year Scams and Witch Hunts, as phony as they are, just never seem to end. The American people are smart. They see the great economy, & everything else!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2019
This tweet — at least with regard to the USA Today Poll — is strangely both accurate and completely misleading. Trump is correct. In the poll, Trump is leading all four frontrunners, significantly in some cases:
Those numbers are startling. Did those numbers briefly make your heart fall into your stomach? Because that poll is also repeatedly being cited online.
Well, here’s what the headlines and Trump’s tweet does not tell you. The poll asks voters, “Who would you vote for? Trump? Democratic candidate? Or a Third Party Candidate?” Trump’s numbers are steady, in that 42-44 range that almost all polls show, and have shown for the better part of three years. Here’s Quinnipac from last week:
Meanwhile, in this USA Today poll, “Third Party Candidate” receives 11-15 percent of the vote.
Folks: There is no viable third-party candidate, and in the minds of voters, “third party candidate” can mean anyone: Oprah, Michelle Obama, George Clooney, Tom Hanks. Given the choice between, say, Joe Biden and theoretical Oprah Winfrey, ten or 15 percent are going to choose Oprah. Oprah is not running, so in a head-to-head matchup, those voters are all going to go to the Democrat, because Trump’s numbers do not budge: 42-44 percent. Trump wouldn’t lose support to third-party candidates because his voters believe that he’s a better President than Lincoln, so the theoretical addition of Oprah or Clooney does not change their vote.
Thus this poll — that includes unknown third-party candidates — is the only outlier showing that Trump can beat Joe Biden head to head.
In other words: It’s bullshit.