Making Sense Of Media-Branded Political Polls

A recent Fox News poll shows 50% want President Trump “impeached and removed,”  while 41% say no. At the same time, a CNN poll says 45% of those surveyed want the President impeached and removed, while 50% reject the idea.

Do these numbers make sense -- considering the type of content the media brands air? For many loyal viewers of Fox News and for CNN, the opposite sentiment for each of those brands is probably the case.

The Fox poll was done on December 8 through 11 by Beacon Research and Shaw & Company from 1,000 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The margin of error plus or minus 3%.

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS, December 12 through 15, among a random national sample of 1,005 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. The margin of error plus or minus 3.7%



A bigger question: What does common wisdom mean when viewers tune into TV news networks that agree with their existing opinions?

Perhaps this is why polls are produced by third-parties research companies. But the interpretation of that data? Well, everyone has an opinion.

President Trump said recently at a news conference: “My poll numbers have gone through the roof!” To which I might add: Define through roof, including type of home and location. Also, could you address a few of your 15,413 lies/misleading statements calculated by The Washington Post? (He also tweeted his displeasure at the Fox Poll results, which found 54% support for impeaching Trump, 50% for removal by the Senate.)

What about the effect of the impeachment hearings? Nothing. Minds are made up -- politicians, voters, Trump, a number of Eastern European country top officials, and everyone in between. Our echo-chambers are intact.

Just consider: Many political races are not won with big landslide numbers these days. They are won at the margins -- independent-minded voters, who might be part of the 70,000 total voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that played a decisive Electoral College role in helping to elect Trump.

One more thing. When the Fox News poll asked -- “Has Trump committed bribery”?” -- 37% said ‘no’ and 45% said ‘yes’.  If you are a political marketing executive -- or from some far-off land looking to cause maximum political U.S. distress -- these are your real “targeted” voters/consumers.

So look closely at those voter margins -- as well as the polls’ margins of error.

Next story loading loading..