BREAKING: Donald J. Trump shows gains in new poll!


Some lessons concerning predictions:
According to Ed Kilgore, Donald J. Trump has made some gains in one new poll.

Kilgore's post, for New York magazine, starts exactly like this:
KILGORE (1/31/18): It’s just one poll from one polling outlet (albeit one given an A+ rating for accuracy and sound methodology by FiveThirtyEight). But for Democrats already concerned about the love shown the president in snap polls following last night’s State of the Union Address, the first 2018 national survey from Monmouth University lands like a punch in the mouth.

Compared to its December poll, the new results (taken from interviews between January 28 and January 30) show big gains for both Trump and his party
among registered voters. His December job approval rating, at 32 percent, was his lowest since taking office according to Monmouth’s temperature readings. Now it has bounced up to 42 percent. Similarly, in December the GOP tax bill was notably unpopular, with 26 percent approving of it and 47 percent disapproving. Now opinions on the bill, after lots of hype about bonuses and cuts in tax withholding, are dead even at 44/44.

Worst of all for Dems, a 15-point advantage in the generic congressional ballot in December (51/36) is now down to two points (47/45). This equals the smallest Democratic advantage in any poll since the beginning of the current election cycle.
As Kilgore notes, "it's just one poll." This one new poll could always turn out to be a major outlier.

Then again, this one new poll could turn out to be a harbinger. Similar polls may follow. Below, we draw two quick award-winning lessons.

American pundits, including corporate liberal pundits, never tire of wasting time on polls:

On the cable channel which is designed to make us liberals feel good, we've been hearing about the Democratic advantage on that generic congressional poll for some time now.

So far out from November 2018, this has always been stupid. That said, Stupid is one of the basic products we are constantly sold.

Right through the weekend before the November 2016 election. we were given persistent bad advice about the Trump-Clinton polls. As soon as we were failed by those polls, we started wasting time pretending to analyze the polls for 2018.

Kornacki was placed before "the big board" again. This isn't Kornacki's doing.

This conduct is very, very dumb. But Dumb is our tribe's middle name.

(Remember the period in early 2013 when MSNBC pundits kept regaling us with news about Hillary Clinton's stunningly high approvals? We were encouraged to party and play. Many of those pundits are gone. They were very dumb.)

We need to learn how to talk to the public:

Kilgore refers to "lots of hype about bonuses and cuts in tax withholding." Donald J. Trump has also engaged in lots of hype about the fabulous economy he has brilliantly produced.

Some of that hype was recently reflected in the fifteen pro-Trump letters the New York Times chose to run two weeks back. One letter after another talked about the way the policies of Donald J. Trump had produced a booming economy.

The next day, the New York Times selected seven letters from Trump detractors which it ran in rebuttal. None of the letters addressed any issue of substance—and it's easy to show that the economy was making gains under Obama which match those made under Trump.

Obviously, one day worth of letters would make no difference concerning overall views of Trump. But the seven letters the Times chose to run told us something about that addled, ridiculous newspaper.

The New York Times has little idea what an actual "forum" looks like. It prefers to run insulting reports about Trump's wife, along with brain-dead, two-page lists of Trump's past year of insults.

We liberals think this is way cool. Everyone else thinks this proves what Trump says about the Times.

We're lazy and dumb and nobody likes us. Few things could be more clear.


  1. The discrepancy between polls and the election results, particularly in those three very close states, is how we know there was something wrong with our last presidential election. It is how we know there was voter suppression, meddling, an potential effect of hacking.

    Somerby doesn't read 538 or he would know about the dive in Clinton's polls right after Comey's statement torpedoing her election chances. Those poll results are how we know that Comey did in fact influence the election and swing it to Trump.

    Somerby seems overly impressed by anecdotal evidence, the kinds of "selected" letters printed by the NY Times (with no way of knowing how representative they might be). He likes focus groups and forums. So do viewers and readers. Studies show repeatedly that it takes training to learn to respect the knowledge conveyed by statistics, surveys and polls. Somerby gets fooled by the inexpert surveys presented as entertainment and seemingly cannot differentiate between a well-conducted poll and an internet poll. So he wants to throw out all the polls and call people names if they do want to talk about poll results.

    Why shouldn't Trump get a bounce from his SOU talk? It would be surprising if he didn't. No one thinks that means he will still be doing well later on in 2018 as the election nears. Trump isn't running in 2018. No one thinks a generic Dem/Repub poll means anything in terms of who will win in 2018 or 2020. It is a strawman for Somerby to suggest anyone does. But that doesn't mean such a poll is useless.

    Somerby doesn't want to wade into the weeds to understand the technical intricacies of polling and what it does and doesn't tell you. He is like the geezer who cannot figure out how to turn on his cell phone so he decides to just throw the damned thing out. In that respect, Somerby is truly lazy, dumb, and hard to like. But that doesn't mean the rest of us are too.

    Take a class, read a book, learn something about statistics Somerby. It is your duty as a blogger and educated person to keep learning new things.

    1. Well, at least you're impressed with yourself. That makes one of you.

  2. Trump's wife is an insult to the nation.

  3. three latest polls in a row give him 44% approval:

    44% seems be the correct number. Obviously the polls produced by the fake-news orgs are to be ignored, for being... well: fake.

    "and it's easy to show that the economy was making gains under Obama which match those made under Trump"

    Jeez, speaking like a true lib-zombie here, Bob; reciting lib-zombie narratives.

    Surely, you of all people should understand that as the economy is getting closer to the full employment, under the normal conditions it would have to slow down. Instead, it accelerated. Wages increased.

    Don't be a zombie, Bob; give credit where credit is due.

    1. Obviously Russian trolls like Mao have been told what they should say is correct. Classical bot.

    2. as the economy is getting closer to the full employment,..

      No, no, no, no, no. How dare you contradict the orange pussygrabbing shit-slinger. The economy was not approaching full employment. Those were fake statistics, remember? The real unemployment rate was 40-50%. Damn, you bullshitters really need to pick a lane.

      it would have to slow down..

      And according to the data, it has. Slowest job growth since 2010.

      Wages increased


      "Over the last year, after adjusting for inflation, the average worker in America saw a wage increase of, are you ready for this, 4 cents an hour, or 0.17%. Or, to put it in a different way, that worker received a raise of a little more than $1.60 a week. And, as is often the case, that tiny wage increase disappeared as a result of soaring health care costs."

  4. The figures and stats showing the upward trend lines of the economy under Obama and how today's economy is merely a continuation of that: those figures and stats are available to anyone who wants to peruse them. I have even seen them discussed on our hated liberal channels. The fact that one side chooses to believe Trump, and not the statistics, is on them. Have you ever tried to make a fact-based argument when the other side simply won't agree on those facts?

    As to polls: yes, a lot of time is spent on that, and, yes, it's not an exact science. But it's also clear that politicians and political parties spend huge amounts of time on them. It is almost their lifeblood, one would say. Thus, a cable network mainly devoted to politics will devote a lot of time to polls.

    As to the notion that "we were encouraged to party and play" by our liberal media gods, I'm not sure if that was the message they were sending simply because they were reporting the polls, all of which showed the same thing. And I'm not sure the viewers of said villainous cable channels decided to "party and play" because of any messages they may have been receiving from their TV. I worked my ass off for Hillary. And there is a lot of grass roots activity going on right now, regardless of what the "corporate media" may or may not be doing.

  5. IMHO the underlying problem is that liberals have been too successful. The civil rights movement basically succeeded. Social Security and Medicaid have made Seniors relatively wealthy. Welfare and food stamps eliminated hunger. In fact, poverty is essentially eliminated. (Something called "poverty" still remains, because so-called "poverty" is defined as a certain % of average wealth. But, traditional poverty -- lack of food, clothing, shelter, medical care -- is fairly well gone.)

    So, what do Democrats have left to offer? The obvious answer is "more of the same". But, the nation doesn't want more of the same. In fact, some of the successful liberal program need reform. And, there's a long run problem that the key programs are too expensive to maintain indefinitely.

    Democrats can win elections by negative campaigning, but that's pretty much all they have left to offer.

    1. We have plenty to do, just trying to stop your fuckers from destroying our democracy. What the fuck is it with you people anyway, can't you guys just stop with people's right to be represented in a fair and honest way?
      State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R., Jefferson) said Wednesday he would not turn over any data requested by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the wake of the gerrymandering ruling that Republicans have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review.

      Last week, the state high court ruled that Pennsylvania’s congressional map was the product of unconstitutional gerrymandering and ordered the General Assembly to submit files “that contain the current boundaries of all Pennsylvania municipalities and precincts” by noon Wednesday.

      In a letter to the court, Scarnati’s lawyers said he would not do so, repeating an argument they have made in the petition to the U.S. Supreme Court: The state court is overstepping its authority.

      “In light of the unconstitutionality of the Court’s Orders and the Court’s plain intent to usurp the General Assembly’s constitutionally delegated role of drafting Pennsylvania’s congressional districting plan, Sen. Scarnati will not be turning over any data identified in the Court’s Orders,” the lawyers wrote.

      Ain't that some shit, another republican refusing to obey a court order just cause he doesn't fucking feel like it. Maybe the orange shitgibbon pussygrabbing flimflam man and lying sack of shit you voted for will pardon him also when he gets his ass hauled before the judge to explain why he thinks he's above the law.

    2. I wonder if David thinks any criticism of the FBI will lead THEM to stop doing their jobs. I'm not waiting for David's crocodile tears for FBI agents, like the ones he cried for the Baltimore PD.

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