Lying Republican candidate for president Donald J. Trump has concocted a new lie to explain his precipitous decline in the polls since the release of a hot mic videotape from 2005 in which Trump bragged about forcing himself on women, kissing them, and grabbing their genitals without their consent, and getting away with it because he is rich and famous. Trump’s campaign is also floundering in its response to the allegations of 11 different women who have publicly accused Trump of acting in the exact same predatory fashion towards them as he bragged about in the infamous videotape.
Trump’s newest fabrication is that the national polls that show him losing are rigged. He says that the pollsters deliberately weighted to the sample to include more Democrats, thus skewing the poll results against Trump. It’s all a giant conspiracy against him, he says. Here he is making this ridiculous claim at a round-table discussion in Florida yesterday:
Trump’s newest nutty “they’re all out to get me” theory is apparently based on an email found in the Wikileaks email dump, where there is a 2008 email from a Democratic activist named Tom Mattzie. The email reads:
I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.
Some idiot who calls himself “Tyler Durden” (remember Fight Club?) seized on this language and wrote on wingnut website ZeroHedge that this is “how you manufacture a 12-point lead for your chosen candidate and effectively chill the vote of your opposition.” Trump, being Trump, immediately adopted this piece of idiocy and tweeted:
Major story that the Dems are making up phony polls in order to suppress the the Trump . We are going to WIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2016
The Washington Post‘s Philip Bump maths’plained (I left out the headache-inducing statistical charts) why this interpretation of the Matzzieemail is just plain stupid:
But [Trump’s] interpretation of the email is laughably incorrect.
First of all, Matzzie doesn’t appear to be talking about public polling — nor does it make sense that he would be, since public polls from media outlets are developed by pollsters who work for or with those outlets. Matzzie’s talking about polling that’s done by campaigns and political action committees to inform media buys. In other words, before campaigns spend $200,000 on a flight of TV spots, they’ll poll on the messages in those ads and figure out what to say to whom and then target that ad to those people as best they can.
The problem is that it can be hard to find enough people to get robust enough sample sizes to offer the necessary information. Normal polling in a state will usually have no problem getting enough white people in the mix to evaluate where they stand, but you may need to specifically target more black or Hispanic voters to get a statistically relevant sample size.
In short, then: This is an eight-year-old email talking about a common polling technique for ensuring accuracy among demographic subgroups from a guy who was not working for or representative of a media outlet.
It is not, in other words, an explanation of why Trump is losing.
So there you have it. Trump originally refused to admit that he was losing because he is who he is. Now he claims he’s not losing at all; the pollsters are cheating to make people think he’s losing.
I wonder what crazy-ass theory he’s going to be spouting from his orange mouth on November 9?