Many have heard of polls finding that most Americans, 51 percent in an October Fox News survey, want President Trump impeached. But a recent Monmouth poll casts doubt on this, showing that 73 percent of Americans have “very little or no confidence” in the impeachment process. Why is this poll so different? It’s simple:
Unlike the others, it doesn’t over-sample Democrats.
Rather, its sample was “29 percent Republican, 42 percent independent, 29 percent Democrat,” the National Sentinel reports. “It was 48 percent male and 52 percent female, which sounds right because nationally, there are more women than men.”
In reality, women were oversampled slightly, as they constitute 50.8 percent of our population. While this matters because Trump is notably less popular among women than men, Gallup data indicate that Monmouth also over-sampled Republicans slightly. That said, its sample is largely an accurate cross section of America, at least in terms of sex and party affiliation.
As for the results, a “full 73 percent of those surveyed have ‘very little or no confidence’ in the impeachment process — not exactly ‘majority’ support for the … drive to overturn the 2016 election results,” the Sentinel also reports.
“Only 24 percent said they had ‘a lot’ of confidence in the process, compared with 29 percent who had ‘a little’ and a large plurality of 44 percent who said they had ‘none,’” the site continues.
Contrast this with a recent Fox News poll finding that 49 percent of Americans favor impeaching the president and removing him from office, with 41 percent opposed. According to the Sentinel, this poll actually over-sampled Democrats — who Gallup states are only 29 percent of the electorate — with their constituting 49 percent of poll respondents.
In fairness, the website reports that the Fox News poll over-sampled Republicans, too, but not as egregiously (41 percent), and drastically under-sampled independents, who were only 11 percent of respondents when they should have been 43 percent.
So it’s a confusing picture. Yet perhaps odder still and even more telling is a poll of New Jerseyans conducted during the same period (early October) as the Fox poll cited at this article’s opening. It found that half of Garden State residents want Trump impeached, virtually the same percentage (51) of Americans overall who Fox reported want the president impeached (and removed from office).
This makes no sense because very liberal New Jersey is well left of the country as a whole. So how could anti-Trump sentiment in this “progressive” northeastern pocket be no greater than it is nationwide?
Do note that both the New Jersey and Fox polls were fielded by the same entity, Braun Research, Inc., based in Princeton, New Jersey.
Also in fairness, and regarding Monmouth vs. the other polls, asking if voters “want” Trump impeached and asking whether they have “confidence” in the impeachment process aren’t technically the same thing, though one might expect the results to correspond fairly closely.
Whatever the case, the Sentinel writes that “the mainstream media loves Monmouth, as do political candidates. They use and refer to Monmouth polling all the time.”
“Except this time,” the site continues. “Suddenly, the lamestream media has no interest in reporting a Monmouth polling result because, of course, the results don’t fit the Left-wing Democratic narrative that most Americans hate Trump and want him gone.”
Of course, news bias is not new. Also not unprecedented is poll manipulation; moreover, impeachment surveys aren’t even the most impeachable example. Just consider a Reuters poll that was actually altered to manufacture a Hillary Clinton “surge” during the 2016 presidential campaign.
As Breitbart reported August 1 of that year, quoting late Democrat political strategist Pat Caddell: “‘They not only changed their formula, to put Hillary ahead. They went back and changed the results, for a week of results where Trump was ahead, and then they turned those into Hillary leads,’ said Caddell. ‘They also erased all the former polling off the site. They didn’t tweak their procedure — they cooked it.’”
“Never in my life have I seen a news organization, and a supposedly reputable poll, do something so dishonest,” Caddell remarked.
Obviously, poll manipulation is common because it serves to manipulate public opinion. A poll deceptively showing a healthy lead for a candidate in a race that’s actually relatively tight, for instance, can discourage his opponent’s supporters and perhaps suppress their Election Day turnout.
As for cooked impeachment polls, they capitalize on man’s tendency to be swayed by argumentum ad populum (an appeal to popularity). For many people instinctively rate something more highly when it’s popular, and many don’t want to be part of an “unfashionable” minority.
In the president’s case, the thinking may be, “Hey, there could be something to this impeachment stuff if so many people are convinced.” Thus might it have been very important to the early October pollsters to “find” what they did: 51 percent — a majority — supporting impeachment.
On a philosophical note, consider that appeal to popularity is even more significant in this morally relativistic/nihilistic age. People who believe in and use the objective, Truth, for making decisions, are less likely to care about “popularity.” What, after all, is man’s political correctness compared to eternal correctness? How does an ephemeral social code rate against the ethereal and sacred code?
Failure to believe in Truth, however, leaves you with the Protagorean formulation, “Man is the measure of all things.” For without Truth to use as a yardstick for belief and behavior, people’s “perspectives” (and your own feelings) are all one has left as guide; they then take on more importance.
A perfect example is a relativistic man I once knew who, when I pointed out that we can’t really say Hitler was wrong if all is “gray,” replied (alluding to the German dictator’s atrocities), “If everyone at the time had agreed that it was right, it would have been right.” It’s silly, of course, because preference isn’t principle: If man’s “opinion” is all there is, there is no “right.”
And given the way so many today treat polls like playthings, one might wonder whether the only “right” some pollsters recognize is the political side they aim to destroy.
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.