For two days, a legitimately stunning Monmouth University poll has been sending shockwaves through the D.C. establishment and the media.
Normally vaunted as a solid poll, the latest Monmouth survey suddenly came under extreme scrutiny Monday when it showed former Vice President Joe Biden having plummeted 13 points and out of first place in the Democratic presidential primary race.
Politicos felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions of Joe Biden fans cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Breathless media reports of a Biden drop, a three-way tie among Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and a Sanders/Warren surge could be found everywhere, including The Western Journal.
Biden, many believe, is the only candidate who has a real chance of beating President Donald Trump in 2020.
He’s far more moderate than the other big names in the running, he’s a seasoned veteran of brutal campaign life, he has innate charisma that none of the other candidates (all of whose personalities are completely grinding, save military veteran Tulsi Gabbard) possesses, and he was vice president of the United States.
In any normal world, Biden clearly would be the Democratic nominee, even at this point. But the world isn’t normal right now, and instead of making the smart move, Democrats have decided to hedge their sure thing with Biden by promoting a menagerie of politburo wannabes who espouse anti-America, anti-capitalism, anti-freedom and anti-traditional values.
Joe Biden's greatest blunders, all in one video.
Posted by Western Journal TV on Friday, August 23, 2019
Now a devastating poll comes out showing Biden dropping from 28 points and a 9-point lead over Warren to 19 points and with a 1-point deficit against Warren and Sanders.
If you’re a Democrat who thinks beating Trump is more important than socialism, that poll is seriously bad news. So something has to be done.
And something was done. Wednesday morning. Monmouth University’s poll director, Patrick Murray, issued a letter disavowing his own poll.
“As other national polls of 2020 Democratic presidential race have been released this week, it is clear that the Monmouth University Poll published Monday is an outlier,” Murray said in a statement.
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) August 28, 2019
That’s right: The polling organization whose very existence depends on producing accurate results now openly claims its results were not accurate.
Murray’s letter provided absolutely no explanation for the “outlier” results of the poll, basically noting instead that, well, crap happens. That’s my wording, not his, but it gets at the heart of his explanation.
He chocks the shocking poll results up to chance, saying there’s a statistical chance that any poll will produce skewed (crappy) results. This poll, Murray argued, fell into that category and was to be interpreted in the context of other polls.
In other words, “Ignore this poll and move on.”
Now what Murray said about polling statistics is true. Take enough polls and some number of them must produce results that are significantly out of kilter. Avoiding outliers 100 percent is simply not possible. And to Murray’s credit, he notes that his team could have sat on the numbers but didn’t because they wanted to be transparent.
What’s interesting, however, is the timing.
If the Monmouth poll had hit months ago when Biden was still seen as the sure winner, dismissing it would be much easier. Hitting now, after videos of Biden gaffe after Biden gaffe spread across the internet — well, that’s even less likely, which makes it harder to dismiss.
Back in April, Rush Limbaugh said Biden was the Democrats’ best chance to beat Trump but had no chance to win the primary. Cooler heads among Democrats know Biden is their best bet, and Monmouth’s disavowal of its own poll is good for them.
If the Democrats are to win, Biden has to win. If Biden is to win, it will help for this poll to go away.
For whatever reason, as of this Wednesday morning, Monmouth did its best to make that happen.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.