The Nonsense Presidential Polls

The simpletons who serve as newsreaders, analysts and commentators across the spectrum of national media were agog over the weekend regarding several polls relating to support for a third party candidate in the 2024 presidential race. Most of them were making reference to a recent poll done by NewsNation/DDHQ. The poll referenced was part of a larger survey relating to voters views of the political state of America. NewsNation in a June 6, 2023, report stated:

A NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ poll of registered voters found that a majority of Americans in both parties think the country is on the wrong track.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted May 25 and 26 via an online panel. Margins of error vary per question because the number of people who answered each question is different.”

The Hill, a liberal leaning publication that allegedly does deep analysis of political issues and trends in America, commenting on the poll stated:

Close to half of American voters would consider backing a third-party candidate if President Biden, and former President Trump head toward a rematch in 2024, according to a new poll.

A NewsNation/DDHQ poll released Tuesday found 49 percent of respondents said it was somewhat or very likely that they would consider voting for a third-party candidate in 2024 if Trump and Biden were their parties’ nominees.

Among the candidates whom respondents said they would be most likely to vote for as a third party candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) received 21 percent, former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) received 10 percent and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) received 7 percent, among others.

Another 43 percent said they would choose someone else as a third-party candidate.”

You have to wonder at the intelligence level of someone who would publish such rubbish as if it were any more than idle gossip and/or wishful thinking. The biggest fallacy lies in the acceptance (for polling purposes) of a nameless/faceless third party candidate versus the two likely major party candidates. While parties may nominate candidates it is the candidate and not the party that counts in the final analysis. Even in European countries that utilize the parliamentary process where the parties actually determine the head of the government – the voters are fully aware as to who that person is likely to be and that effects the election. A poll comparing President Joe Biden (D) vs. former President Donald Trump (R) vs. someone else poll is like one hand clapping – pointless. Until you put a face on the third-party candidate all you have is a poll that expresses dissatisfaction with the current candidates. Oregon faced the same issue in the last gubernatorial race where non-affiliated candidate, former state Sen. Betsy Johnson ran against Democrat Tina Kotek and Republican Christine Drazan. Early polling showed a huge dissatisfaction with three decades of Democrat rule in Oregon and particularly with the then sitting governor Kate Brown (D) who was labeled at the most hated governor in America for three years running. As a result that polling indicated a close race between all three candidates. In the end, Ms. Kotek won with 47% of the vote to Ms. Drazan with 43% of the vote and a dismal 8% if the vote for then non-affiliated Ms. Johnson. (Both Ms. Kotek and Ms. Drazan received a larger percentage of the total vote than their parties’ respective share of the vote while Ms. Johnson failed to capture anywhere near the percentage of voters self-identified as independent or non-affiliated.)

The No Labels movement in the nation’s capitol is being richly funded and is composed primarily of disaffected Democrats tired of watching the far left agenda of the party’s progressives and disaffected Republicans who cannot stand Mr. Trump. And while the concept garners significant intellectual support, its leadership knows that the moment they put a name to the “candidate” the party is over. The most conclusive evidence of that is in the above referenced NewsNation/DDHQ poll where the most often mentioned “candidate” of the No Labels movement is West Virginia’s Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin. That polling indicated that Mr. Manchin would garner only seven percent of the vote. At at this point Mr. Manchin would not only lose a bid for re-election to his Senate seat from West Virginia but would loose by double digit amounts. Mr. Manchin has no political base outside of West Virginia and thus would be unlikely to even garner the seven percent referenced in the poll. The candidate receiving the most votes as a third party candidate is Vermont Socialist Bernie Sanders who while he might draw twenty-one percent in the poll would draw it all from the progressives of the Democrat party without any legs to extend his reach into the massive unaffiliated rolls of voters and thus not only fail in an effort but also ensure Mr. Biden’s defeat. The point being that if you want a poll that is actually relevant to the presidential race you need to take the individual “independent” and put him/her in the poll against both Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump. But that isn’t going to happen because reality would crush the whole concept leaving the media nothing to do but speculate the events that might alter the coming Biden-Trump return match. And speculation is about all the media does anymore.

But that isn’t the only defect in the polling and the analysis of the results. Under the Constitution of the United States we do not elect a president based on the popular vote. We use a process which requires a majority of votes from members of the Electoral College who are guided by the majority vote in each state. It is done so that the major cities do not control the election process at the expense of those living in middle America or rural America. Democrat Albert Gore won the popular vote against former President George Bush but lost the election. Similarly Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election to Mr. Trump. (In both instances Mr. Gore and Ms. Clinton would have been better off reading the Constitution than nationwide polls that in the end proved nothing.)

The net effect is that while forty-nine percent may prefer another candidate there is nothing indicating that any such third party candidate could be elected President of the United States. It’s time to stop stuffing the news with fantasy and get on with the actual matchups on a state-by-state basis.

As my father used to say, “Wish in one hand, spit in the other and see which fills up first.”