The Disconnect

May 19, 2020

This piece originally ran in the May 19th Midweek Edition email to subscribers. To regularly receive updates like this, subscribe here.

President Trump's job approval rating are stuck in the mid-40s, even as the nation's governors see their own approval ratings rise. Of the six high-quality battleground state polls we've seen since April, Trump is trailing in five of them. The RealClearPolitics average of national polls finds Biden leading Trump by 4.7 points — a lead twice as big as Hillary Clinton's final margin. And yet, as Harry Enten writes on CNN.com, "an average of recent polls finds that a majority of voters (55%), believe Trump will defeat Biden in this election. Trump's edge on this question has been fairly consistent over time." So, what gives? One apparent reason is that many of us are suffering from 2016 PTSD. The *polls* were wrong then, goes the thinking, so why should we trust them now? This ignores the fact that:

  • The national polls were right in 2016.
  • Polling since 2016 has been very accurate.
  • Trump carried seven states with

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