Much has been said and written about the use of polls and polling data over the past few years, particularly as it related to candidate-turned-President Donald Trump and typically in regard to how poll samples are skewed to disfavor him and marginalize his support.
According to Breitbart, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday contained results that were so against the grain of that poll’s usual results that the pollsters actually added in a sort of disclaimer when the results were released, seemingly disavowing the results of their own poll.
The openly stated reason for that disavowal was that the poll showed a sudden spike in support for the president and a number of his policies over the most recent polling period.
That would be the latest weekly approval numbers compiled by the Reuters/Ipsos polling team, which placed Trump’s approval rating at 48 percent and disapproval at 49 percent among all adults — with a 49-49 tie among registered voters — for the period of April 27-May 1, a significant uptick in approval over the prior week’s results.
That sudden surge in Trump’s approval compelled the pollsters to preface their report with an explanation that cast the shocking results as an outlier they refused to accept as reality, but would report to the public nonetheless.
“This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend,” cautioned the pollsters. “Every series of polls has the occasional outlier and in our opinion this is one.
“So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.”
Interestingly, when Trump’s approval rating was broken down by party line, it showed the president received 20-79 approval versus disapproval among Democrats, 81-18 approval among Republicans and a 51-45 split in his favor among independents.
A breakdown of the issues shows where Trump’s support is strong, as he cleared the 50 percent approval threshold on a number of incredibly important issues, including the economy (57-39), employment and jobs (59-35), dealing with the Islamic State group (58-35) and taxation (52-42).
Even on the hot-button issue of immigration, Trump came out ahead with a rating of 50-47 percent in his favor.
The president was also winning support, albeit with slimmer margins, on the issues of foreign policy (48-45), dealing with Congress (47-46) and international trade (49-43).
On a separate but important note as we approach the midterm elections, the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Democrats held only a slight five-point lead over Republicans on the generic Congressional ballot — 39-34 percent — with 14 percent undecided.
Unfortunately for Democrats, while their base was a bit more solid than Republicans in this measure, the poll showed independents leaning more toward the GOP — 22-19 percent — with 19 percent supporting a third party and 31 percent still undecided.
The poll of 1,548 Americans doesn’t appear to be as skewed toward the left as we have seen with other polls. Samples included 556 Democrats, 579 Republicans and 163 independents — though as a whole the respondents appeared to identify slightly more as Democrat than Republican.
If the Reuters/Ipsos poll is truly an outlier, we’ll know for sure in another week or two if those numbers remain reverse dramatically.
That said, there is no denying that Trump has recently been gaining steam — particularly in regard to the economy, jobs and potential peace with North Korea, to say nothing of a possible “Kanye bump” — so much so that even the pollsters have to admit that more Americans view Trump as “winning” than they would have imagined.