President Trump questioned the accuracy of a new poll that shows him having the lowest approval rating of any modern president during the first six months of his term.
But Trump’s Sunday tweet about the accuracy of the ABC News/Washington Post poll is questionable when the data is actually examined.
The same poll showed Hillary Clinton narrowly leading Donald Trump 47% to 43% on Nov. 7 2016 — one day before the election. It was a national poll that was assessing the overall popular vote, not the victory margins in individual states. And although Clinton lost the electoral vote, she did ultimately win the popular vote 48.2% to 46.1%. That means the poll was one point off for Clinton and three points off for Trump — slightly outside of the poll’s 2.5 margin of error for the latter, but only by half a point.
Other polls had similar results. The NBC/WSJ poll released on Nov. 6, 2016 also had Clinton leading Trump by 4 points, 44% to 40% — the final results fell outside the poll’s 2.73 margin of error on both sides. The final pre-election poll conducted by CBS News/New York Times, released on Nov. 3, 2016, like the others, had Clinton leading Trump among likely voters 45% to 42%.
In fact, out of the 21 general election polls showcased by the website RealClearPolitics website on Nov. 7, 2016, only two — the LA Times/USC tracking poll and the IBD/TIPP tracking poll — had Trump winning the general election. The state polls listed on that website were more inaccurate, with several incorrectly predicting, for example, that Clinton would win states like Florida, Michigan and New Hampshire.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll also detected a loss in voter enthusiasm for Clinton following then-FBI Director James Comey’s decision to reopen the probe into her emails in mid-October — a factor Clinton has said contributed to her loss. “The change in strong enthusiasm for Clinton is not statistically significant and could reflect night-to-night variability. Still, it bears watching,” the poll analysis stated on Oct. 31.
Overall, the ABC News/Washington Post poll certainly did not predict Trump’s victory. But it also was more correct than the President let on in his tweet about assessing the ultimate outcome of the popular vote.
The tweet was one of several Trump sent Sunday.
He also said the”fake news” media was “distorting democracy” and brought up the revelation from WikiLeaks that Donna Brazile passed along a question from a CNN primary debate to Hillary Clinton campaign associates, claiming there was a discrepancy in coverage between this incident and Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer.