As we recently covered at RedState, a couple of weeks ago Ann Coulter either completely fabricated a poll or just willfully misread the Washington Post’s coverage of a Los Angeles Times poll. The specific claim was that a Los Angeles Times poll taken in March of 1980 showed Reagan with a 30% favorability rating, which means that Trump supporters shouldn’t feel anxious just because Trump’s is hovering around 30% or lower.
The only problem is that it has now been thoroughly established that no such poll ever existed:
We were not able to find a national Los Angeles Times poll conducted on March 25. Several Los Angeles Times national polls archived in the Roper Center from 1980 measured Reagan’s image. But none were conducted in March 1980. And none, something we will come back to shortly, showed Reagan with a 30% favorable rating.
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There are, in fact, a number of traditional, national poll results from 1980 which did measure Reagan’s image. In general, these data show that Reagan enjoyed mostly positive net favorable reviews throughout 1980.
Gallup’s 10-point “scalometer” method of measuring favorability found 70% of Americans viewing Reagan positively in May and August of 1980. And while the scalometer rating tends to produce higher favorable scores than binary favorable/unfavorable scales, Reagan earned a 60% favorable rating in a January 1980 Gallup/Newsweek poll using the binary wording.
A multitude of polls by other firms whose surveys are archived in the Roper Center polling database confirms Reagan’s generally positive 1980 image.
The Los Angeles Timesnational polls all show that Reagan’s image was more favorable than unfavorable, including polls in the fall of 1979 and in June, September and October of 1980. There is no Los Angeles Timespoll which can be located from 1980 that shows Reagan with a more unfavorable than favorable image, as is the case with Trump today.
Gallup’s detonation of this claim from two of the most habitually wrong people on the Internet (Ann Coulter and Jim Hoft) has inf act widely been covered in the media. However, that didn’t stop Trump from repeating it this weekend on the trail, to the delight of his supporters:
And since Trump literally gets most of his information “from the shows” or from false memes on the internet, he repeated it to his moron supporters at his rally:
During a rally in Rome, N.Y. [on April 11, 2016], Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cast himself as the inheritor of the mantle of Ronald Reagan — at least in the way Reagan came from behind to win the 1980 presidential election.
“I haven’t even started on Hillary, and my numbers are better right now than Ronald Reagan’s numbers were with Jimmy Carter,” Trump said, at about the 17:50 mark. “Ronald Reagan had a 30 (percent) favorability and he was behind Jimmy Carter by so much everybody said, ‘Oh, this is going to be a disaster.’ “
That’s why Trump is ahead, though not enough to get the nomination. In the internet age too many Americans just believe whatever stupid crap they read or hear that fits in to what they want to hear. And Trump knows it.
It’s an actual embarrassment, even after all Trump has said and done so far, how much information Trump gets from his sycophants on Twitter, and how much of it he believes uncritically. This is a man who lacks the discernment to be an assistant bowling shoe disinfector because you would expect that he would constantly try to eat the shoe polish, believing it to be caviar. It’s an absolute disgrace to our country that he has come this far.