A New Poll Says Trump Leads Clinton for President — Here's Why It's Unreliable

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

In the wake of the Republican National Convention last week, a new poll from CNN and ORC International says Republican nominee Donald Trump took a 3% lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton for who pollers said they wanted for the next president of the United States.

The poll used telephoned answers from 1,001 adult Americans between July 22 and July 24. It asked, if the presidential election were held today, would the person be more likely to vote for Trump and Mike Pence or Clinton and Tim Kaine?

According to the poll, 45% said Clinton/Kaine, while 48% said Trump/Pence. Poll results for July 13 through 16 had Clinton at 49% and Trump at 42% — marking a six-point bounce for the Republican nominee. CNN pointed out that there hadn't been a post-convention bounce like that since 2000.

That kind of jump, especially after Trump and his ilk delivered such a bafflingly racist battery of speeches, should strike fear into even the bravest hearts. That is, if it were accurate.

Here's the thing: The CNN poll just interviewed adults — 119 of whom weren't even registered to vote, and there's no indication whether the 882 who are registered planned to vote or not. Add all of that to the poll's 3.5% margin of error, and Trump's 3% lead isn't so much a national crisis as it is unreliable mathematics.

Post-RNC results has the candidates tied — each with 42% of votes — according to CBS News. Predictions for the final outcome from FiveThirtyEight showed an even wider gap:

So before you buy that one-way ticket to Canada, dig into the results a little deeper. Hell hasn't frozen over yet.

Read more:
• The RNC Was the Most Flagrant Display of GOP Racism America Has Seen in Years
• RNC 2016 Full Recap: Highlights, Worst Quotes, Biggest Moments and More
• Donald Trump Is the Republican Presidential Nominee — And the KKK Couldn't Be Happier

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Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

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