Trump Campaign Hands Press Half A Poll — Here’s What They Left Out

Press pool members returning to Air Force One after Donald Trump held a rally found printouts in their seats pushing a partial poll that seemed to show voters favoring the incumbent in a few key states. However, the printout had only half the information.

Half a poll is half a story
[Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images]

Katherine Faulders, who covers the White House for ABC News, shared a printout that was left on seats in the press cabin of Air Force One. It’s a printout of a tweet from Polling USA, and it appears to show voters in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina favoring Donald Trump in the 2020 election. However, these numbers specifically cover those who haven’t yet cast a vote, and where they say their support falls.

The tweet cites polls by CBS and YouGov ending October 23rd. Among those who haven’t voted yet in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, Trump gets, respectively, 58%, 54%, and 59% of support. More than half of respondents sounds significant.

However, the Trump Team didn’t bother to include the rest of the data shared in another tweet, right before this one. Among voters who have already cast their ballots in the same three states, support for Joe Biden is overwhelming — 61% in both North Carolina and Florida, and 55% in Georgia.

Half the data is not the whole story, clearly.

In fact, looking at the polls themselves from CBS, the partial data given to reporters is plainly slanted. In Florida, for instance, the Trump handout gives the impression he has a 19 point lead. The actual poll says that Biden is polling at 50% with Trump at 48% — a near tie, rather than a hefty certain win. In North Carolina, contrary to the 17-point lead Trump’s printout shows, the actual poll reflects Biden leading by 4 points — 51% to 47%. In Georgia, the full poll data shows the two tied at 49% — the partial data Team Trump gave to reporters would mislead a reader to see Trump with a ten point lead.

Of course, in 2016, a lot of Americans learned not to put too much certainty into polls, and this is only one pollster, and one set of polls, among many. Still, it’s striking that the president’s campaign team would feel the need to give reporters half the story, when the full story doesn’t paint him in such a winning light.

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