Little significance in political polls about Trump

Leave it to NPR’s political editor Domenico Montanaro to provide a needed dose of reality to the anti-Trump forces gleefully reacting to a poll showing declining popularity of the president.

In Minnesota, only 38 percent approve of the job the president is doing, according to the Marist Poll of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. There’s a huge margin-of-error in the Minnesota poll of 4 percent.

“Donald Trump carried or came very close to carrying these three states in 2016. But it’s a very different picture for this fall’s elections,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

So it means something, right?

Maybe not, Montanaro appropriately cautioned in his appearance on NewsHour on PBS last evening.

Take Minnesota, for example, just before the November 2016, only 39% of those polled favored Trump against Hillary Clinton. That’s well within the margin of error of this week’s poll.

“I went back and looked at the 2016 exit polls,” Montanaro said. “And you might remember there that some 60 percent said that President Trump didn’t have the temperament to be president, they said he wasn’t qualified to serve as president, and that they would be concerned or scared if he won. And yet, he won.”

“And here we are,” he concluded.

In a world where political polls, like facts, mean nothing.