According to a new NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll regarding the 2020 election, President Trump is trailing the current Democratic Party front-runners by up to seven points. But should anyone care what the polls say at this point in the race?
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by nine points among registered voters (51% to 42%).
Senator Bernie Sanders is ahead of Trump by seven points (50% to 43%).
Senator Elizabeth Warren holds a five-point advantage over Trump (48% to 43%).
Senator Kamala Harris leads Trump by just a single point (45% to 44%).
If history has taught us anything about polls, it is not to put too much faith into what they predict this far out. Regardless of who you support, it should be pointed out that many polls had Hillary Clinton winning the 2016 election by a wide margin up until Election Night, but we all know how that turned out. While outlets like NBC and the Wall Street Journal are focusing on their polls, they’re not highlighting another important statistic — President Trump’s approval rating.
Polls are great for shaping public opinion but are not reliably accurate enough to prove effective in determining the eventual outcome every time. In this case, anyone who is putting too much stock into these results playing out on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is potentially setting themselves up for another massive disappointment. In virtually every mainstream article that mentions Trump’s favorable approval ratings, they follow it up with reasons as to why they are irrelevant, as supported by their own polls. But it does matter.
Trump supporters would benefit from not getting discouraged by polls at this stage in the election cycle. There is a lot of time left and history is on their side when it comes to Trump overcoming the odds. Polls, which are easily skewed to favor a desired outcome, may show the Democratic field running away with the election, but the real number to keep an eye on is Trump’s all-time high 45% approval rating.
Regardless of what the polls say between now and Election Day, and regardless of who you support, all you can do is show up and vote because the polls don’t determine the outcome — you do.