The moral of this story is to never pay attention to polls. You never know what kind of tricky gaslighting is going on or who the real target of deception even is.
If you visited Breitbart on Tuesday afternoon, you might remember seeing a story reporting on the results CNN obtained by averaging out 10 polls conducted since all the protesting – peaceful and otherwise – erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death:
CNN Sounds Alarm: BLM Fails to Activate Black Vote for Joe Biden as Donald Trump ‘Unexpectedly’ Holding Firm
Predictably, Breitbart’s readers focused a whole lot on the part about CNN sounding the alarm that Biden was in trouble with black voters and not at all on the part about their support for Trump merely “holding firm.”
Breitbart, after all, makes no bones about the fact that they’re in Trump’s corner. And I don’t have to tell our readers that the president’s supporters are anything but the “deplorable basket of racists” the democrats and elite media have relentless toiled to portray them as for going on five years now.
If anything, the predominant characteristic of those most enthusiastic about Trump is a deep and abiding sorrow over the increasingly bitter racial divide that’s infected virtually every aspect of American life and a fervent wish to see ordinary black and white Americans join hands to defeat the elites who’ve spent decades trying to strip everything of value from both.
Too much fervent wishing, however, and you’re liable to find yourself prey to wishful thinking. And Breitbart’s article did nothing to check hope’s debilitating influence on reason with its first few sentences, otherwise known as, the only part anyone besides the author’s devoted mother is ever likely to read:
… Joe Biden is underperforming while President Donald Trump is over-performing with black voters. “Joe Biden’s advantage over Trump with Black voters is currently smaller than Hillary Clinton’s was,” read the headline on Tuesday from CNN’s Harry Enten…. the incumbent GOP president is outperforming expectations against the presumptive Democrat nominee in the black community.
As anyone could have predicted, the comments section immediately broke out in ecstatic celebration over the unprecedented success with black voters Trump was clearly destined for in November, and the landslide victory against Biden it rendered a fait acompli.
Those Breitbart readers would have sung a much less joyous tune had they noticed the headline’s explicit statement that Trump’s black support was merely holding firm. And they might’ve broken out in a funeral dirge had they bothered to read a little further to discover the actual numbers:
“Biden leads in [the average of] those polls by an 83% to 8%, or 75-point, margin,” [CNN] wrote. “That, of course, is a huge advantage for Biden, but it also represents a small improvement for Trump since 2016. Hillary Clinton was ahead of Trump by a 79-point margin among Black registered voters in the pre-election polls taken right before the 2016 election.
In fact, even CNN’s remarks interpreting the numbers are a blatant lie.
That small 4 point decline from Clinton’s 83% of the black vote those polls gave Biden can hardly be said to constitute an “improvement for Trump” since the 8% they gave him is exactly the portion he captured in 2016.
And, when that most neglected of all statistical concepts, the margin of error, is factored in, Biden’s alleged underperformance relative to Clinton also completely vanishes. The margin of error depends on the sample size and, hence, increases when you consider smaller subsets like only black respondents. Since the average sampling error was around 3 points, Biden’s 4 point decline is well within its bounds.
So, not only did those polls CNN averaged out NOT say that Trump had improved his prospects with black voters. They also put Biden in a statistical tie with the previous holder of the title “Most Cognitively Impaired Major Party Nominee for POTUS.”
The very sad upshot is that Breitbart wound up presenting poll results that Trump had failed to make any headway whatsoever with black voters and Biden hadn’t lost any of Clinton’s 2016 support in a way that made their readers respond with over 1500 comments, virtually all like the following:
Millions of black people have become successful and prosperous and they aren’t in a hurry to get taxed into poverty with the Green New Steal. They think like Republicans. I love it!!
BLM is bringing voters to President Trump in droves. BLEXIT–> NOW!
Trump will get 20 plus black vote!
Yeah. He will get the Silent Minority AND the Silent Majority!
Duh, brain dead Biden doesn’t have a chance against the Trumpster. MAGA2020
It’s pretty unlikely that CNN deceptively presented poll results favorable to Biden as good news for Trump in order to produce a fatal case of over-confidence in the president’s base. The idea that anyone at CNN was clever enough to leave it as bait for Breitbart to find and report strains credibility.
And, though the failed actors and talentless scions of powerful leftwing families that CNN pays to do a completely unconvincing job pretending to be journalists on TV are unbelievably dumb, not even anyone at CNN could believe they have any direct influence on Trump’s base. They hate us so much they’d probably be horrified to discover that they did.
Moreover, it just so happens that, the very day before CNN tried to gaslight their readers into thinking Biden was in trouble with black voters, a poll was released that generated headlines like the following at left-wing advocacy websites:
Poll Shows Warren Better for Biden Ticket Than Harris
So it’s pretty obvious CNN must have created that completely fake news about Biden losing ground with black voters to help ensure that a real black woman wound up just one inevitable disastrous episode of senile dementia away from the presidency instead of a phony Native American one should Biden prevail in November.
As to Breitbart, there’s no denying they caused a wave of dangerous overconfidence about Trump’s prospects in November by pushing CNN’s fake news and a world of potential pain for their readers from shattered illusions if the real numbers behind CNN’s phony take turn out to reflect reality and the Black electorate votes much the same way they did 4 years ago.
But it’s more than a bit of a stretch to think doing so was Breitbart’s goal given that virtually every single one of the dozens of articles they’ve published every day for five years casts Trump in the best possible light. Moreover, once again, there’s a more sensible explanation. The Breitbart author and his editors noticed CNN was pushing some bad news for Biden, assumed they wouldn’t be doing so unless it were true, and published a story on it without looking too hard at what CNN was really up to.
According to Rasmussen, the most accurate pollster in 2016, the race is about even now. A poll they did a few weeks ago also showed Trump doing quite well with black voters. It’s in the list of polls CNN links to, however, so they should have factored it into their average.
But, since the margin of error increases as you consider smaller subgroups, it’s best not to take what any poll predicts about Trump’s ultimate share of the black vote too seriously.
As a matter of fact, it’s best not to waste much thought on any poll results at all, whether they’re pushing good news or bad.
Though Trump won by an electoral college landslide in 2016, the race was still a very close run thing. Just a few thousand votes in a few states are all that kept us from having Hillary Clinton in the White House.
As Tucker Carlson warned last night:
This is not the Democratic Party you remember — dopey liberals with flaccid ideas that you probably had contempt for but in the end, could live with. No, these are radicals. They despise the country they seek to govern. They claim to remake it completely. These people want power with an intensity that you, as a normal, well-adjusted person cannot even begin to understand. They will do anything for control.
What we’d have faced if Clinton had prevailed is too awful to contemplate. And the Democrats have only gotten worse since Trump humiliated her and the millions of her supporters who spent a year relentlessly mocking him for thinking he had the slightest chance of beating her.
Best to just ignore the polls, do what you can to make sure people who hate America don’t wind up in charge, and leave prognostication to fortune-tellers, psychics, and other professional scammers.