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Busting Bernie's cherry-picked poll


Welcome to the lead from meet the press. I'm carried in. This may be the understatement of the year. But Twitter is a weird place. People use it to circulate completely unfounded information as if it's fact they use it to publicly air their musings about the most random things and they pick fights with complete strangers. And that's just the president of the United States on Twitter. But yeah, actually, speaking of the president one other thing he likes to use Twitter for is to circulate poll numbers that are favorable to him. Sometimes there let's say a little cherry picked. I think that's a fair assessment. It turns out that another presidential contender did this yesterday as well. It was Bernie Sanders. Here is what Bernie Sanders said in a tweet at real Donald Trump, take note, the American people will no longer tolerate. A government which only works for the billionaires and massive corporations attached to that sentiment was a screen shot of a poll result from Emerson college that measured support from voters in a hypothetical head to head contest between Trump and Bernie Sanders. Okay. A quick aside here Emerson college polling doesn't actually meet NBC's methodological standards as frequent lid listeners. Now, the gold standard is real people picking up the phone to call real respondents and talking to them on the phone. Emerson uses an interactive recording. Instead of a real person to make those poll calls which at this time. We're still not confident in as a method. So I'm not telling you this because I'm endorsing the idea that all the numbers I'm going to tell you are accurate. What's interesting is just the fact that Bernie Sanders tweeted about this at all? Okay. Back to the plots in the graphic that Bernie Sanders tweeted in a one on one contest between him and Trump. Sanders. Had fifty one percent Trump had forty-nine percent. Okay. Couple things. First of all. That's not a lead. People. Have we learned nothing that pesky little thing called margin of error? Plus or minus probably around three percent indicates that fifty one to forty nine is a statistical tie. Secondly Sanders did not mention that the same poll also included hypothetical head to head contests between Trump and several other twenty twenty democratic candidates and most of them basically showed the same result as Sanders versus Trump. So it's not like Bernie's numbers stood out as particularly good. In fact, only one democratic candidate in this poll actually performed way better than Trump outside that pesky margin of error. And it was not Bernie Sanders. It was Joe Biden who led Trump fifty five percent to forty five percent. Again, not saying I'm endorsing those numbers as necessarily an accurate reflection of reality. But I'm saying that it's sort of a strange thing for Bernie Sanders to have highlighted, but I think I see what he's trying to do there, which is to counter the fear among Democrats that Bernie Sanders isn't electable we've seen that pop up in other polling, basically, the data shows Democrats overall or more likely to believe that Joe Biden can be Trump then to believe that the very liberal Bernie Sanders can pull off the same thing. That's a narrative that's bad for Bernie after all one of the key arguments from his campaign last time around was that he unlike Hillary Clinton would clobber Trump in a general election in two thousand sixteen they had much much stronger polling tobacco that idea. Now. Not so much so Yep. Yep. That's that's all I got. You know, I gotta get going got to go tweet some sick memes or something like that that. Deliver us if you'd like to hear more of this free audio briefing, you can add meet the press the lewd to your flash briefings on Amazon, Alexa, enable devices or just download us as a free podcast.

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