WSB-TV commissioned a poll from Landmark/Rosetta Stone, and reported Friday that the New York billionaire is currently leading the pack among Georgia Republican Primary voters. You should notice two things: first that the poll was conducted AFTER Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, and second that I didn’t use the word “likely” to describe the voters that were polled.
I emailed Landmark President Mark Rountree and he confirmed that the universe of voters for this poll was people who had actually voted in a Republican Presidential primary at least once. Here’s a snapshot of the crosstabs:
Trump’s candidacy and sustained popularity in nearly every survey of any kind or type has befuddled so many pundits that some are now questioning the accuracy of the polls themselves. It’s important to note that polls are a picture of a snapshot in time, and don’t have to be predictive in order to be accurate. And as Nate Silver points out: “In general, there has been a strong correlation between how well a candidate is performing on the ballot test and how much media coverage he’s receiving, although the causality is hard to determine. Trump seems to understand this; indeed, he seems to issue his most controversial remarks and proposals precisely at moments of perceived vulnerability.” In other words, it may not just that Republican voters are enthralled with Trump, it may be that they’re hearing 15 times more “news” about him, which drives his poll numbers up, which creates more “news,” which creates another rise in the poll.
But that doesn’t explain a straw poll in Oglethorpe County that showed similar results.
Predictive? Manipulated? Accurate? Leave your take in the comments.