Let’s begin with an encapsulation of my general opinion on political polls.
Untold numbers of Americans across the fruited plain — from talking heads in the media to political pundits to social media keyboard jockeys — eagerly obsess over the latest poll results (most of which are conducted for financial reasons and dutifully reported by the media as “news”) and also have a tendency to cite surveys as proof sources.
Sorry, no — polls are merely snapshots in time. Veritable popularity contests, as it were.
Moreover, the politically predisposed among us tend to sing the praises of poll results that align with their beliefs while disparaging or dismissing outright the results of polls and surveys that don’t. If you’re unaware of this reality, you either haven’t been paying attention or choose to ignore the reality.
So, let’s continue with a perfect example.
According to the latest Fox News 2024 presidential election tracking poll, Joe Biden, arguably the most inept president in U.S. history, edges out former President Donald Trump by a mere percentage point.
Call it whatever you want, but the 2024 presidential election remains up for grabs. pic.twitter.com/Mr7tU02sIn— MikesRight (@RealLibSmacker) October 13, 2023
Speaking of Haley, the feisty former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations appears to be on the move, with her support doubling in the current Fox poll vs. the previous poll.
Is Nikki Haley on the move? pic.twitter.com/R44ddxe2Ww— MikesRight (@RealLibSmacker) October 13, 2023
Here’s more via Fox:
Forty-five percent of Democratic primary voters now want to keep President Joe Biden as their party’s presidential nominee, up from 37% in February. Still, a majority of 53% prefers someone else at the top of the ticket.
Republican primary voters are more settled, with fully 82% saying they are satisfied with their candidate choices.
The 2024 general election matchups remain tight. Despite a job approval rating stuck at 41%, Biden’s support in hypothetical head-to-heads is between 45-49% against each Republican tested. He is preferred over Trump by just 1 point, while DeSantis has a 2-point edge over Biden and Haley tops him by 4 points.
This marks the first time in Fox News polling this year that Trump has fared worse against Biden than his rivals for the Republican nomination.
No candidate, however, is truly “leading” as each matchup is within the survey’s margin of error.
Democrat Chris Anderson, who conducts Fox News surveys with Republican Daron Shaw, said of the latest results:
A Biden-Trump rematch starts at pressure-cooker level and keeps Democrats highly united. If Republicans somehow pick someone other than Trump, the pressure immediately drops, and some Democrats might toy with backing the Republican — that doesn’t happen if Trump’s the nominee.
Anderson’s observation was not only important; it was potentially a harbinger of things to come.
The Bottom Line
Avid supporters of political candidates tend to ignore or dismiss the “anyone BUT” vote, and I’ll simply add this as a reminder: The number of “anyone but Hillary” votes in 2016 was a significant factor in the outcome of the presidential election.
Draw whatever conclusion you choose about the potential impact of the “anyone but” vote in 2024, but in my opinion, it will be huge. That said, let’s not screw it up.