Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Another Day, Another Poll (or Two)

Earlier this week, we had an item on the WaPo/ABC News poll that everyone's talking about, the one that showed Joe Biden 20 points underwater and had Donald Trump up by 7 points (45% to 38%) in a head to head presidential matchup. The presidency is awarded by electoral votes and not popular votes, of course, but it's nigh-on impossible to win the Electoral College when you lose the popular vote by such a margin.

Since that poll came out, there have been two new national polls that tell a somewhat different tale. The first of those comes from Yahoo/YouGov. According to their numbers, Biden is up on Trump by 2 points among the general electorate, 44% to 42%. That's a swing of 9 points as compared to the WaPo poll. Yahoo/YouGov also have 43% approving of Biden and 48% disapproving. That's just 5 points underwater, and is a 15-point swing from the earlier poll.

And then there is the latest from Morning Consult. They also have Biden up on Trump by 2 points among the general electorate, 44% to 42%. And while this particular poll didn't include approval ratings, the outlet released one later in the week that does have that information, and puts the President at 42% approve, 50% disapprove. That, of course, is 8 points underwater and is a 12-point improvement over the WaPo result.

The upshot here is the same as when we wrote up the earlier poll: You just can't take polls of the presidential race all that seriously at this point. Sure, we write them up, because that's what we do, but it's a marathon that's only at about the 2-mile marker right now. Further, because it's so early, nearly all pollsters (including these three) are sampling voting-age U.S. adults as opposed to registered voters or likely voters. That's probably the best practice at this point, but it's also a practice that is guaranteed to produce some really wonky results from time to time. (Z)

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