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September 24, 2020

Catholics are Abandoning Trump! [TheJamesMadison]

That's what a EWTN News/RealClear Opinion poll wants you to believe, but their numbers...well...they're suspect at best.

"In a poll of 1,212 likely Catholic voters that 53 percent favor Biden, compared to 41 percent who prefer Trump."

Wow, that sounds bad, huh? Especially when you remember that Trump won the Catholic vote 52-45 in 2016 versus Hillary. That's quite a drop.

But then you read further and find this nugget:

"The poll found that 50 percent of respondents voted for 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while 45 percent voted for Trump, a sign that Biden has widened the gap among Catholic voters."

Wait...what? Their poll doesn't reflect the 2016 election in the least. The last time Republicans only got 45 percent of the Catholic vote was 2008. Is that at all likely to happen this year?

It's an assumption that seems...dubious to me.

They're operating on the assumption that their polling was truly random of the Catholic vote and that it accurately reflects the overall makeup of the 70,000,000 Catholics in America. Considering the problems that polling firms have with response rates, it seems doubtful to me that they didn't apply any weighting. In fact, it seems like they weighted the poll to greatly favor Biden.

Now, you can't just unskew a poll (it increases the margin of error on every data point instead of correcting anything), but I can look at this and say, "This poll was designed to be garbage."

They weighted the poll to favor Biden and, lo and behold!, Biden has a lead!

Another point:

"Trump leads among white Catholic voters by 5 percentage points, the poll found. Among Hispanic Catholics, Biden has a commanding 63-31 lead."

That Hispanic number is very close to the 2016 results of 67-26 for Hillary, but the white Catholic number is way, way different. Trump won that cohort 60-37, by 23 points, and it's evaporated to 5?

That's either a massive white flight from Trump (right after the Access Hollywood tape in 2016, by the way), or the result of a faulty assumption about how whites are abandoning Trump in droves.

My theory is that polling firms are simply oversampling white Democrats.

This whole poll lends itself more credence to my belief that polling firms have built in a white flight factor for the election that works against Trump into their models. It's always seemed like a dubious assumption, but they're running with it into September.

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:50 PM

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