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Another misleading, incomplete WaPo analysis of a new poll

by | Apr 24, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

We’ve posted a couple of stories about the bogus allegation that pro-life President Trump’s base has or is in the process of “deserting” him. The impetus for the idea was an anecdote-filled story by the New York Times which drew preposterously overblown conclusions from a very limited sample.

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Scott Clement look at a new Washington Post/ABC News poll and tell us that President Trump’s support has not risen since his election, but at they at least concede in their lead that his “voters remain largely satisfied with his performance.”

But there is much more to the poll than just that. Something that we don’t find out until the second-to-last paragraph of their long story [1,444 words].

By contrast Aaron Blake’s story (written about the same poll), gets right to it in the headline: “Trump voters don’t have buyer’s remorse. But some Hillary Clinton voters do.” In other words, not only would Trump win in the Electoral College, in a do-over, he’d win in the popular vote.

Blake, also a reporter for the Post, begins by noting that last week he debunked (my word) the idea that Trump’s supporters were already looking to abandon ship.

“A [Pew Research Center] poll showed they were more pleased than disappointed, by about 5 to 1,” he wrote.

While Balz and Clement were eager to tell us “President Trump nears the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times,” Blake looks at that Washington Post/ABC News poll and finds it reaffirms the Pew poll’s results “in spades.”

And, in fact, it shows more buyers’ remorse for Trump’s opponent in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton. And were the 2016 election held again today, it shows Trump would avenge his popular-vote loss.

While just 4 percent of Trump’s supporters say they would back someone else if there was a redo of the election, fully 15 percent of Clinton supporters say they would ditch her. Trump leads in a re-do of the 2016 election 43 percent to 40 percent after losing the popular vote 46-44. [Underlines are mine.]

While Blake (rightly) observes that it is not a surprise there would be a post-defeat drop-off for the candidate (Clinton) who lost, he adds

But against the backdrop of stories about how Trump hasn’t delivered what his supporters thought he would, it’s notable how much his backers are sticking by their candidate, relative to his opponent. There is basically no real defection to the one candidate who could have delivered a different result.

Two other interesting tidbits.  First, ABC News, of course, wrote a story about the joint poll. Gary Langer’s lead is solid journalism: “There’s no honeymoon for Donald Trump in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll but also no regrets: He approaches his 100th day in office with the lowest approval rating at this point of any other president in polls since 1945 — yet 96 percent of those who supported him in November say they’d do so again today.”

Second, as Gary Bauer pointed out today, the Post/ABC News survey was of “adults, the worst possible sample from the standpoint of accuracy, especially when it comes to elections.” He contrasts that with “Rasmussen’s poll of likely voters, which finds that 51% approve of President Trump’s job performance.”

There is no depths to which most of the reporters/columnists of the Washington Post and the New York Times will not plunge in an attempt to bring down the Trump Administration. That is a truth that must be uppermost in people’s minds, regardless of how they may feel at this moment about President Trump.

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Categories: Media Bias