March 6, 2018

AP Calls Trump’s Texas Supporters ‘Diehards,’ Uses Cooked Poll to Understate His Popularity

On Monday, the day before primary elections in Texas, Paul J. Weber at the Associated Press characterized Donald Trump’s Texas supporters as “diehards,” cited a cooked Trump approval poll published by Quinnipiac to understate the President’s popularity.

Weber did not hide his disdain for what he described as “the Trump effect” in his AP report:

In Texas GOP primary, it’s who can love Trump the most

… Texas holds the nation’s first 2018 primary elections Tuesday, and the campaign is providing a vivid exhibition of the Trump effect in GOP politics. Some races are playing out in a roadshow of one-upping emulation of the combative president, in which there’s no such thing as cozying up too close or too ardently, regardless of his rough edges or low approval ratings nationwide.

After this ridicule of Trump-supporting politicians, Weber aimed his fire at Trump voters:

Texas candidates aren’t alone in courting Trump diehards who make up the GOP base — and who can be counted on to show up in typically low-turnout primary elections.

The dictionary defines a diehard as “a person who vigorously maintains or defends a seemingly hopeless position, outdated attitude, lost cause, or the like.” That characterization of Trump supporters is a ridiculous smear, given the fervor with which GOP candidates are associating themselves with the President and the fact, as Weber himself conceded, that “Democrats haven’t won a statewide race since 1994.”

Weber then presented the cooked poll:

The impression of a Trump White House at war with its enemies is stoking the atmosphere. “It’s about he’s our Republican president and if we don’t stand together and we don’t defend the party and conservative ideas, no one is,” said Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based Republican strategist. A Quinnipiac University survey in late February put Trump’s approval rating at 86 percent among Republicans but just 37 percent overall.

Readers who are strong at math will quickly discern that the coexistence of the two Trump popularity numbers presented — 86 percent among Republicans and 37 percent overall — is almost statistically impossible. That’s correct, unless one cooks the poll participation percentages, which is what Quinnipiac did.

As seen below, the poll included 33 percent Democrats and 22 percent Republicans, despite the latest Gallup nationwide party affiliation poll showing a slight GOP advantage of 28 percent to 27 percent. If the Quinnipiac poll had been weighted with Gallup’s percentages, Trump’s approval result would have increased by 5 points to 42 percent:


Meanwhile, the presidential approval tracking poll at Rasmussen, which had the best performance among all major pollsters in the 2016 presidential election, had Trump at 47 percent approval nationwide from February 16-19, the days Quinnipiac conducted its poll.

It’s also reasonable to believe the Trump’s overall popularity in Texas would be higher because of nearly a quarter-century of Republican electoral successes there.

Weber’s dispatch is all in a day’s work at AP, the nation’s hopelessly biased, Trump-despising, gatekeeping news service.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at


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