Accuracy in Media

President Trump received some good news yesterday in the form of a new CNN/SSRS poll that showed Joe Biden’s lead over Trump has shrunk from 55%-41% in June to 50%-46% in July.  With a margin of error of four points the race is essentially a dead heat among registered voters.

Rather than admit that this was good news for Trump CNN senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten made it appear that this was still good news for Biden during an appearance on CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto.

“We still have Biden getting a large percentage of the vote, 50-46, and that I think is something so important to point out, is that 50 percent number for Biden,” Enten said.

“In fact, if you go back over time, what’s so key in all of our last few polls is that Biden is consistently at 50 percent or greater,” he continued. “The other thing obviously we should note is there has been that tightening of the race since June, and that is largely consistent with what a lot of the other polling has generally showed, which is that there has been some slight tightening, though Biden is still certainly ahead at this point.”

Sciutto noted, “There are other polls out with starkly different numbers. Help put us in the context, because you and I when we talk about this, you always say look at the averages.”

After a brief discussion of other polls that show Biden with a much bigger lead than CNN’s Enten stuck to his main message that Biden is still in the lead despite the Trump trend in the CNN poll.

“There’s a margin of error and this kind of basically runs the gamut of what you generally expect in say an eight or a nine-point race given the margin of error, and indeed if you look at the CNN Poll of Polls, what you see is that Joe Biden at this particular point does have the advantage,” Enten said.  “He’s up by nine points and that is very consistent with the range of polls that we’re generally showing at this point. Biden has a clear lead and is over 50% of the vote.”

Biden is hoping for a convention bounce in the polls this week but with the RNC convention next week any gains he makes could quickly disappear and potentially turn negative putting him behind just as the campaign enters its stretch run.


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