President Trump is closing the gap with former Joe Biden - scoring points with independent voters, while the former Vice President enjoys a healthy lead among suburban women, according to a recent poll by Zogby Analytics.
Overall, the poll has Trump leading Biden 46 to 43 in major battleground states - due in part to the fact that Zogby included third-party candidates Jo Jorgensen, Howie Hawkins and voters who are undecided.
"The race is close and is a far better representation when you include third parties," said Jonathan Zogby, adding "Zogby Analytics will always include third parties in our polls. It's a shame when you have a respected, intelligent woman as a party nominee, and the mainstream media is pretending she doesn't exist. Now who is sexist? Don't give us that business that ‘voting for a third party is a vote for Trump or Biden!’ So if you don't fall in line with the duopoly you don't have a voice? That's not what the founders' of our republic and Constitution ever intended to happen. Everyone has a voice: Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Greens"
"The contest is also close in battleground states, with Trump narrowly winning against Biden 46% to 43%, while Jorgensen received 7% and Hawkins 1%," said Zogby.
The poll also revealed (via the Washington Examiner):
Positives for Trump in the survey:
- "The president is also coming back with independents," though Biden still leads 39% to 34%.
- Trump is winning voters aged 30-49, 51% to 38%, and Generation X, 50% to 42%.
- 70% of swing voters who chose Barack Obama and then Trump in 2016 back the president.
Positives for Biden:
- Older voters choose him over Trump, 58%-38%.
- He’s winning the suburbs, 47% to 39%.
- Biden leads Trump among suburban women, 52% to 33%.
Yet, while Zogby conducts what appears to be minimally biased polls which includes a more realistic playing field (as people will write in third-party candidates), Rabobank's Michael Every points out (and we noted earlier), polls can be wrong. Especially when it is harder and harder to find people who have the time and energy to answer a survey, a process that naturally leans towards the wealthier and more politically active.
As Pew research notes in a looong election note today, different polling agencies conduct their surveys quite differently; the barriers to entry in the field have disappeared; a poll may label itself “nationally representative,” but that’s not a guarantee that its methodology is solid; the real margin of error is often double that which is reported (and they are already quite large at +/- 3%); huge sample sizes sound impressive, but don’t mean much as this can mean cheap and problematic sampling; evidence suggests if the public hears a certain candidate is likely to win, they are less likely to vote; public estimates of policies are generally trustworthy, but estimates of who will win are less so; all good polling relies on statistical adjustment; not adjusting for education is a disqualifying shortfall (as we saw in 2016); more transparency on how a poll was taken is better; polling is not broken, despite 2016; the evidence for “shy” Trump voters is actually quite shy; yet a systematic miss in election polls is more likely than people think, especially on the electoral college outcome.
Every notes that RealClearPolitics' polling aggregator fails to include Zogby and Democracy Institute in their polling average benchmark.
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In short, trust polls at your own risk.