OOPS! Donald Trump Tweets Fake Poll, Internet ERUPTS With Joy (TWEET)


Despite polls basically being useless this election, both candidates and supporters are more than eager to brag when one poll shows they are ahead of the opponent. In true Donald Trump fashion, the Republican presidential candidate cited a poll in which he was up by three points in Ohio.

Along with a beautiful graphic, Trump tweeted, “Great new poll- thank you Iowa! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain” The graphic showed Trump speaking to a cheering crowd showing Trump at 44 percent and Clinton at 41 percent. Below that, the graphic cites FiveThirtyEight as the source of the poll; however, that’s where it gets murky.

screen-shot-2016-09-05-at-1-33-26-pm-724x1024 OOPS! Donald Trump Tweets Fake Poll, Internet ERUPTS With Joy (TWEET) Donald Trump Election 2016 Featured Hillary Clinton Politics Top Stories
Image from FiveThirtyEight.

FiveThirtyEight’s editor-in-chief Nate Silver and senior political writer and analyst Harry Enten quickly turned to social media to reveal they didn’t conduct the poll.

Nate Silver:

Harry Enten:

‘To be clear, @fivethirtyeight has not commissioned or sponsored a horserace poll in Ohio. That poll Trump tweeted is among many we aggregate.’

So, what is the Trump campaign referring to? Silver believes Trump was referring to an Ipsos poll.

FiveThirtyEight strives to display polls in an “easy-to-digest manner” since some websites, such as Reuters, can be difficult to navigate. Furthermore, they note that many sites do not include Ipsos States of the Nation surveys. They claim to be “as inclusive as possible” and will include a poll so long as it is real and not sponsored by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or a supporting super PAC.

Even better, Silver went on to tweet that FiveThirtyEight’s polling average in Ohio (which is based on other polls), still shows Clinton ahead at 41.8 and Trump at 39.8. He notes it’s close, but Trump is still not ahead of the Clinton campaign machine. FiveThirtyEight projects Clinton has a 60 percent chance of winning Ohio, and Trump with an over 50 percent chance of winning Iowa.

However, the poll that Trump probably was referring to does actually show him in a virtual tie with Clinton. The poll showed 40 percent of possible voters are standing behind Trump while 39 percent are supporting Clinton. The poll was conducted between August 26 and September 1 in all 50 states and has a measure of accuracy of 3 percent.

Despite this, Trump can’t get comfortable, as it’s been estimated Clinton is on track to win the Electoral College (which is what really matters) by 332 votes to Trump’s 206. Those numbers will update Friday. This means Trump should actually take the time to check who conducted the polls that show him ahead before tweeting celebratory messages to the pit of social media.

Regardless, FiveThirtyEight is delighted Trump is giving them a shout-out — even if it’s in error. In Enten’s response, he wrote:

‘So while we cannot claim credit for the Ipsos polls Trump tweeted, we certainly welcome Trump and his campaign talking about FiveThirtyEight. Next time, perhaps, Trump can link to our actual forecasts (which currently show him trailing in the presidential race) and not just the more favorable polls for him “featured” on FiveThirtyEight.’

Donald Trump’s original tweets with the mistaken attribution were quickly deleted; however, screengrabs were made. The Internet is forever, after all.

Featured image: Getty/Ralph Freso