Referencing both an analysis of the latest ABC/WaPo poll that showed Hillary Clinton with a 12 point advantage, driven largely by a 9 point surplus of polled Democrats, and an email first pointed out here on Sunday evening, citing a leaked Podesta email from the 2008 Democratic primary which pitted Clinton against Obama and which spelled out recommendations on “oversamples for polling” in order to “maximize what we get out of our media polling”, Trump used the ongoing Wikileaks disclosures to bolster charges that the presidential election is being rigged against him.
During a campaign rally Monday in Florida, Trump accused the media and Democrats of “voter suppression.” He argued that national polls that show Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a healthy lead are based on a sampling that is too heavily Democratic, adding that media outlets are essentially making polls that show Clinton with a wide lead in order to suppress turnout by his supporters.
“When they leave the polls alone, I’m leading. But you see these polls, they are polling Democrats,” he said, swatting aside the polls with his hand.
“It’s called voter suppression, because people will say, ‘Aw, gee, Trump’s out.’ Folks, we are winning. These thieves and crooks, the media, not all of it but much of it, they are the most crooked, almost as crooked as Hillary. They may even be more crooked than Hillary because without the media, she’d be nothing.”
As we have reported before, one generally accepted “scientific” reason for the oversampling is due to historical patterns suggesting a decline in voting interest among GOP voters over the past decade: exit polls from 2012 showed that identified Democrats made up 38% of the national electorate, while self-professed Republicans made up 32% . Exit polls from 2008 showed a similar trend, although the 2004 presidential election, the numbers were tied: 37% of those voting were registered Democrats, and 37% were registered Republicans.
However, one particular characteristic about the current election cycle, and a reason why extrapolating the historical pattern has been criticized, is that Trump’s campaign is seen as generally more “exciting” for republican voters at a time of record polarization and engagement, suggesting that more registered republicans could show up at the polls, breaking from recent tradition, which however is not reflected in the ongoing oversampling of democrats.
Trump jumped on this nuance and sought to link the Clinton campaign to the media’s effort by pointing to the January 2008 email released by WikiLeaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s account, in which Democrats talk about “oversampling” polls, the email first presented here.
“WikiLeaks also shows how John Podesta rigged the polls by oversampling Democrats, a voter suppression technique,” Trump said during his rally in St. Augustine, Fla. As The Hill added today, in the email, campaign strategists for Clinton discuss recommendations for oversampling in their polls. “The 2008 email doesn’t specifically explain why the Democratic strategists on the email exchange want to oversample in their polling.”
Trump in FL says the polls are rigged by oversampling Democrats—”when they leave ‘em alone and do ‘em properly—I’m leading!” (This is false) pic.twitter.com/mpW64FamBn
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) October 24, 2016