The polls are in: What do they mean for the presidential election?

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:

If you’ve been on social media or following the news since the recent presidential debate, you’ve likely seen a flurry of polls.

Some show consistent numbers, while others differ drastically.

This raises the question: which pf these surveys should we trust, and how do they impact the election?

For example, the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average shows former President Donald Trump up by 3.3 percentage points between the end of June and the beginning of July.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal both report Trump is ahead by six percentage points.

Meanwhile, CBS News shows Trump with a narrower lead of two percentage points.

In battleground states like Pennsylvania, a new Bloomberg poll finds President Joe Biden trailing Trump by seven points.

During a recent interview, Biden was confronted with his approval rating.

When the interviewer mentioned, “I’ve never seen a president with 36% approval get re-elected,” Biden responded, “Well, I don’t believe that’s my approval rating, right? That’s not what our polls show.”

To delve deeper into the significance of these surveys, WINK News spoke with political expert Aubrey Jewett.

Jewett explained that while polls are “snapshots in time” and can be months away from the actual election, they do matter in several ways.

For one, they can influence public opinion and pressure candidates. For example, if results suggest a candidate is losing support, it can impact their campaign donations.

Jewett advises voters to take election surveys with a grain of salt. “Many of the polls are reasonably accurate, but they are not perfect,” he said. “We have seen previous elections, such as 2016, where polls were way off in some battleground states.”

As the election approaches, Jewett recommends using reputable sources. He suggests websites like Five Thirty Eight and RealClearPolitics, which aggregate multiple surveys and provide averages, offering a more balanced view.

WINK News anchor Emma Heaton asked viewers on social media this question: “Do you keep up with the latest presidential race polls or see them all over social media and the internet? Do you vote based on what the polls show? What polls do you trust?”

Here are some of their responses:

  • “I trust absolutely no polls. I feel they can be tipped however a party wants it.”
  • “I look at them. I also pay attention to the margin for error. Anything above a 4% margin of error I don’t trust. Polls don’t affect the way I vote. I vote for a candidate that supports things I care about.”
  • “Polling is notoriously unreliable. I worked at UPenn’s Annenberg School & colleagues at the Annenberg Public Policy Center said they are continuously hamstrung with bad polling data. Polls can be interesting; just not reliable.”
  • “I don’t vote based on polls. Polls are for politicians to decide if they need to shift focus for votes. I vote based on common sense ideas and proven results.”

Some view these surveys as influential, while others dismiss them as irrelevant or inaccurate.

Ultimately, Jewett believes in the importance of making informed decisions based on who voters believe will do the best job, rather than letting polls dictate their choice.

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