Former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said that it is well-known that polls taken a year before an election are trash. He urged Democrats to stop worrying.
Joe Scarborough said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, “Here’s the new Hampshire poll from Emerson yesterday. That shows just how irrelevant. I believe this. You may disagree that Joe Biden’s approval ratings a year out may be in New Hampshire’s approval rating according to a recent Emerson poll is 37% but you match him up against Donald Trump. Don’t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative as President Biden says it’s not even close.
You talked about this in the last block like right now he’s running against the almighty, but next year it’ll be a choice between two very defined, very clear candidates in Donald Trump and Joe Biden and guess what? We’ve already had that election and it’s clear that Joe Biden won that election and will win this again. I’m not being Pollyannish. I’m not saying this is gonna be easy because it’s not.
But we know that a year ago, a year out, these polls are just absolute garbage. Mika showed the 2011, the famous Nate Silver put us on the cover of the New York Times and said Obama was toast and he had a 17% chance to win and we won handily from what I remember. And so that’s why these polls are just garbage in the end. This is a choice between two very different things. The other thing you know, Mika is right. We have democracy and we also have the issue of abortion in 2023 in over 20 elections around the country. Democrats overperform by nine points in elections all over the country because of the issue of abortion.
Jim Messina, “A year out, these polls are just absolute garbage. Mia showed in 2011, the famous Nate Silver put us on the cover of the NYT and said Obama was toast and he had a 17% chance to win and we won handily from what I remember. That’s why these polls are just garbage .” pic.twitter.com/3iEfx0UM7n
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) November 16, 2023
The reason why the polls are trash mainly is because there is election yet. Polls taken a year before an election aren’t measuring the election itself. Voters aren’t engaged especially in this election because Donald Trump has run away with the Republican primary and Joe Biden as an incumbent president has the Democratic primary locked up.
For the last decade plus, presidential approval ratings have proven meaningless as a determinative factor in elections. Both Obama and Trump outperformed their approval ratings as incumbents.
Polling has not adjusted to the demographic shifts in the country and the partisan divide in the nation. Democrats need to stop paying attention to polls, and just keep working toward victory in 2024.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association