So what did Donald Trump do this time to earn coverage in this blog? The fact that he said he could shoot someone at a rally and get away with it? That he retweeted a picture posted by a Neo-Nazi with the Twitter handle @WhiteGenocideTM? No, that’s already been covered, and this blog is about unique insights.
I’m here to talk about how Trump, and members of the Republican party, are delusional. On what, you may ask. Science? The economy? Defense? Foreign policy? The proper use of the word “schlong”?
While those are all worthy topics, today’s delusion is that he has the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.
As Trump boasted on his Twitter, a Monmouth University poll of self-identified Republicans found that they believed Trump had a better chance of defeating Hillary Clinton than either Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio:
Who would have a better shot at beating Clinton in November – Trump or Cruz, or would they be equally as likely to beat her?
|Equally as likely||31%|
|Neither, both would lose||2%|
Who would have a better shot at beating Clinton in November – Trump or Rubio, or would they be equally as likely to beat her?
|Equally as likely||25%|
|Neither, both would lose||2%|
There’s just one little issue with the results: polls show that both Rubio and Cruz fare better against Clinton in head-to-head matchups, based on the averages from RealClearPolitics:
For those who can’t make out what is in that screen capture, the RCP average has Clinton beating Trump by 2.7%. The only recent poll in which Trump beats Clinton was conducted by FOX News, which has a notorious conservative bias. And while there may not be hard evidence of bias, notice that the Wall Street Journal, owned by the same company as FOX News, did a poll in conjunction with its competitor NBC News, making it much more difficult to inject bias, and Hillary wins in a landslide.
Meanwhile, both Rubio and Cruz beat Clinton in the current polls by 2.5% and 1.3%, respectively. Although it is a bit shocking that they have such huge leads over Hillary, nevertheless the average calculated by RCP is crude, using a simple average of polls. That means they can be thrown off by an outlier, and (surprise!) FOX News polls have both Rubio and Cruz winning in landslides. Meanwhile, as with Trump, WSJ/NBC polls have Hillary defeating both of them.
How, then, did registered Republicans come up with an answer the opposite of what the polls say? Probably because they are mostly expressing “doorstep opinions,” ones they are making on the spot in response to the survey, and that they have not researched. And because Trump has exponentially more name recognition than either Rubio or Cruz, respondents picked him.
Well, one might conclude that Trump should consider the implications of what he (or whoever does his account) tweets. But let’s face it, he won’t. Although the rest of the world has hope. So respondents might want to become more informed of the facts before expressing an opinion. Or at the very least, pollsters and the news media should realize that reporting what a plurality of poll respondents think up on the spot is not the same as reporting facts.