WAS THE JAN. 24th DETROIT NEWS POLL REALLY ACCURATE OF THE STATE’S ELECTORATE? By Peter Moon

First off, let me just say: The 2020 election is over a year away. Today, Friday February 1st, marks the one-year mark until the Republican Iowa Caucus (and the 3-year anniversary of the 2016 Iowa Caucus). Despite this, pollsters are already releasing “polls” saying Trump will lose Michigan to all possible Democratic nominees, whoever they may be. Take these examples from realclearpollitics.com, which was gathered on January 30th, which gave out 4 “Michigan: D. vs Trump” polls. In every one, Trump lost the state. All four were conducted by the Detroit News (which Steven Crowder stated on Election Night 2016 was “slanted to the Left”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDQ63fefIYI) and WDIV-TV. These polls were conducted with Trump versing off against 4 candidates: Biden, Warren, Harris, and Sanders. Biden beat Trump with a margin of 53-40; Warren beat Trump by 46-43; Harris beat Trump by 47-42; Sanders beat Trump by 52-41. Why is this so important to bring up? Well, according to https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html, Trump won the state in 2016 miraculously with the help of the Union votes (again, see Crowder’s livestream for that reasoning). So, let’s see if this works out well enough. According to https://www.clickondetroit.com/michigan-politics/wdivdetroit-news-poll-trump-faces-uphill-re-election-battle-in-michigan, the sample was only 600 people large, had a 95% confidence rating, and was conducted by a “statewide” status. So, let me get this straight: A “Statewide Poll” consisting of 600 recipients is supposed to represent a state with a population of over 10 million people (source here: http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/michigan-population/)??? We’re supposed to take a poll that only represents around 0.00006% of the actual population of the state? Are you seriously kidding me?

Well, then let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they called registered voters. What were the party affiliations of these called? Were they overwhelmingly Democrat, or overwhelmingly Republican? Did the poll call actual voters? Let’s look at that assumption first.

If we add up all of the voting data from the state, the total votes come out to roughly 4,824,430 people (the total number comes to a decimal; going to 429 equals 542, so I rounded down for the sake of it). Let’s take that number and see how much that is represented by a 600-person survey. It comes out to about….0.000124…% of the electorate. You might say, “Well, Peter, that’s taken from 4 years ago. What about the Midterms? Weren’t there more voters in 2018?” Well, let’s look at that, then Using the same site on 2018’s Michigan Gubernatorial Race, the total votes came out to be… While only ~4 million people voted in 2016, there were around 7.4 million who registered in 2018. However, if one does the math from https://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html, they will find that 53.31 (in the form 0.5331) times 4,250,971, you get roughly 2,266,192.6 votes (we’ll round up here). Hilariously enough, that’s less voters who took part in the Michigan Governor’s Midterm election than in 2016 (a net loss of 573,459 votes). So, let’s say that voter turnout is higher in 2020. Let’s give the voter base in Michigan a benefit of the doubt. We’ll put participation numbers at 6 million voters. That’s a large leap (around 2+ million votes) that are added to the base. What happens when we use this survey? You know what that comes down to? This poll represented roughly 0.0001% of all Michigan voters. Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? We should rely on a poll that represented less than one hundred thousandths of the vote? No, I’m not going to use a poll of such small proportions to decide a ballot vote over a year away.

Let’s take this poll seriously, though. Let’s say that this represents a true split in the electorate at best (the poll’s margin of error was over/under 4 points. Let’s apply that to the four polls respectively.

First, we’ll look at the weakest candidate, Warren. Elizabeth Warren has, in the past, claimed to be a Native American. When she took the test, it turned out that she barely qualified as Native American (having 1/1024th Native American blood). According to https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/elizabeth-warren-dna-test-fact-check-native-american-ancestry-boston-globe-journalists-trump-a8595001.html, that comes out to being 99.9% not being Native American. Native American people and tribesmen called out Warren as being “fake” and that the act was offensive to them. There are several Native American people in Michigan. This is, indeed, where several tribes were long ago; they were in this state. That would hurt her vote.  Besides, Warren isn’t completely popular among younger voters. An old white woman really doesn’t say “Democratic Progressive in the current year”. So, we’ll be as fair as possible, and lower the spread for Warren by 2 points, while giving those two points to Trump. That would leave with a loss of 1 point, effectively losing the state (45-44).

Next, Kamala Harris. Harris has already been trying to position herself as being a radical Progressive candidate, like Warren. She has had recent (as of Feb. 1) reports of an alleged affair with another Californian official, which could hurt her credibility among married evangelicals. However, that wouldn’t be the biggest harm to the candidate. Her platform would be focused around Civil Rights, Equality for All, Civil Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, Green energy things (using California as a base ground), and strong foreign policy. This stinks of Social Justice Warrior-esq themes. The platform “fights” for everyone who’s a minority (it seems), which excludes whites and men. What does this do for other voting blocs? Michigan only has a 14.1% African American population (see here: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/mi/PST045217). If we add up all non-white people in Michigan by percentage, we get 20.6% roughly. 79.4% of Michigan is white! If you’re going to go after Women for votes, then you have a better chance. 50.8% of Michigan is female (according to the site). However, these demographics don’t always vote, either. The Progressive vote isn’t horribly strong in the US yet, and that statement is definitely true in Michigan. So, let’s give that spread a -3 Harris/+1 Trump resettlement. In final, it would come down to Harris winning the state with 44-43 percent. Still a big loss, since she is supposedly projected to win the state by a big margin. However, this shows a massive loss for the Progressive stage, and would be rather devastating to Harris’s campaign, which would lose again to Trump in other states following Michigan.

Next, we’ll move on to Sanders. While Trump may not be likeable in the Republican caucus by the Democratic viewpoint, they need to check their own side as well. First off, we need to shatter a few dreams. The DNC passed a new rule restricting Independents from running as Independents (source here: https://www.newsweek.com/bernie-sanders-democratic-party-2020-election-new-rule-967928). Thus, Sanders would need to register himself as a full-fledged Democrat in order to run in 2020. However, this raises another issue: Sanders’ appeal. One thing that sets Sanders apart from other Democrats is that he has tried to stay “independent” of the party in 2016. However, this same strategy will not work in 2020. So, we must go with the scenario that Sanders switches his political party affiliation to full fledged Democratic status. Now, let’s move on to the poll-results. Sanders is not as popular as most newspapers would have you think him be. Not all Democrats are progressive-there is still a “Moderate” side to the party. I’ll start with that. We’ll subtract a good 5 points from Sanders for starters. No, not all of them will go to Trump; only 2 points. The other 3 will go to the actual Independent campaign (whoever that may be). Next, we’ll take on the issue of age. Sanders will be near 80 (if not over 80) by the time of 2021. What then? Who wants an 80-year-old President? I’m sure the younger voters don’t. So, we’ll take 1 away from Sanders again. This will go entirely to the Independent as well, since they aren’t possibly anywhere near Sanders’ age. Next, we’ll hit the tax issue. From day one, Sanders preached higher business taxes in his campaign. This screws with the businesses in Michigan like Kellogg, the farmers, Chrysler, GM, and other big businesses. There goes another 2 percent from his actual campaign support. I’ll that 2 percent to the pro-business guy, Trump. This ends the day with a slight Trump pull-off over Sanders with a 45-44 lead. I’m being generous here: There isn’t 44% of Progressives in Michigan. In fact, the state is widely Moderate, with a near even split of Republican and Democratic voters. This state would not be totally in favor of Sanders or his policies.

Finally, we’ll look at Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump. During the Obama administration, the economic recovery was not felt all around the country. During Obama, the Flint Water Crisis occurred. Also during Obama, the Detroit bailout happened. All of these things hurt Republican support in the state. Donald Trump, despite all his gains and accomplishments, has not helped himself with the union workers or manufacturing jobs. I’m not going to go over a strategy where Trump can win over Biden, as there is way too much that needs to be written on that subject. However, I will leave you with this: It is very difficult, but Trump could have a chance at beating the former Vice President.

CONCLUSION

In all, I personally would advise you not to use one poll (or one polling site) as your main place for polls and race standings. RealClearPolitics has a great thing going where they aggregate a lot of different polls together to give one an average poll outcome. Second, I would advise Detroit News to use a larger base of polled people. In a state housing 9 million people (with 4 million actual voters), 600 people is not a substantial amount for a proper representation. I don’t care who you run in the slots; if it’s not a good size for a good state, then I’m not going to personally trust the outcome. But hey, that’s just me, right?

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