You’ve probably noticed a barrage of approval rating polls being released in the past month or so, and nearly all of them show Joe Biden as a president for the ages. We’ve seen such high numbers as 60% approval in some surveys. Perhaps Biden is just that much of a unifier, despite pushing the most radical, divisive agenda in modern history? Or perhaps there’s something else going on with these polls.
Yeah, it’s the latter.
D+31 sample. https://t.co/kAfgbwrFYg
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) April 17, 2021
Random thought, but if your sample is coming out to a raw D+31 sample, perhaps there’s something wrong with your pool that you are originally drawing from? Are they just calling people in blue states? Further, if you look at the internals, they only weight the poll to D+9, while the 2020 election was Biden +4. The margin was even smaller in the vote totals for the House, for example. In other words, the country much more evenly divided than shown here, but according to these pollsters, we are in a new era of peace and unity.
The purpose of this is clear: to push a narrative of inevitability going into 2022 for Democrats. Approval polls can hide behind the idea that they apply to all Americans and not just voters, yet their only real use is in serving as a data point for upcoming elections. We see this every cycle. Polls with ridiculous samples showing Democrats wrecking shop. Then as the elections get closer, the samples start to get whittled down more.
This isn’t “un-skewing” polls, a process some have been prone to criticize where you try to guess at voter turnout and make Democrat and Republican samples even. Rather, it’s nothing that the electorate has been fairly stable the last two cycles (Trump lost by around the same slim margin he won by in 2016), and if a recall on a poll sample is coming back over double Biden’s 2020 margin, it’s not representative or predictive. And if it’s not those things, then it’s useless as a data point.
We’ve seen these same crazy recall numbers when compared to 2020 in Marist, Morning Consult, and other polls released lately as well. They all, despite most of them getting 2020 so wrong, are simply doubling down on their methodology. Meanwhile, sites like 538 continue to hang “A ratings” on trash polls like Quinnipiac. It’s just a racket to push narratives at this point.