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Obama (Privately) Slams Trump

2020-07-30 11:26:42

Obama takes the gloves off for Biden, and Congress grills tech executives. It’s Thursday, and this is your politics tip sheet. Sign up here to get On Politics in your inbox every weekday.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, during his testimony yesterday. One lawmaker confronted him with Zuckerberg’s own emails, saying they showed a plot to take out a young competitor.

With Trump lagging behind Biden in most national surveys, the Trump campaign has recently begun to advance the argument that public pollsters are not reaching enough Republican participants.

The campaign has pointed to the fact that national polls now often find no more than a quarter of the electorate self-identifying as Republicans. The number was closer to one-third in 2016, according to exit polls and other postelection analyses.

“National polls are often askew from what these 2016 exit polls were,” Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager, argued in a call with reporters last week.

Certainly, pollsters — and news readers — ought to be concerned about any evidence that surveys might wrongly be disfavoring Trump, leading to a repeat of polling misfires in 2016.

Nate Cohn, the Upshot’s polling expert, looked into the Trump campaign’s claims by analyzing data from a string of New York Times/Siena College polls last month. Using the voter files from which respondents had been drawn, he concluded that Republicans were no less likely to respond to surveys than Democrats.

In fact, since people in relatively high-response demographics — like rural, white and older voters — tend to skew toward the G.O.P., Republicans had actually been a little bit easier for Siena’s pollsters to get in touch with than Democrats.

Generally speaking, it’s usually not a good idea to expect consistency from the partisan makeup of the country. As Gallup’s tracking numbers on the subject show, those figures are very fluid — easily influenced by the events in the news and the policy positions presently being advanced by one party or the other.

For what it’s worth, the tracker now corroborates the very data that Stepien’s team dislikes: In early June, the last time Gallup published new data on this, it found that 25 percent of the country identified as Republican.

That’s part of a steady downward trend for Republicans throughout the year, as Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones writes in a new analysis. When counting independents who lean toward one party, Americans in January were just as likely to favor the Republican Party as to pick the Democrats. By June, with the coronavirus raging and the economy down, 50 percent of respondents identified as or leaned toward Democrats, with just 39 percent for Republicans.


Join us today for two separate events:

First, at 1 p.m. Eastern, we’ll be discussing the unique challenges facing women during the pandemic and how to build a more equitable financial future. Special guests are Alicia Garza, a principal at the Black Futures Lab and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Sallie Krawcheck, former Wall Street executive and co-founder and chief executive of Ellevest, a firm focused on closing the gender investment gap, and Bola Sokunbi, the founder and chief executive of Clever Girl Finance. Hosted by Jessica Bennett, gender editor at large for The Times. You can R.S.V.P. here.

Then, at 5 p.m. Eastern, join us for a three-part event:

We’ll start with a discussion about workers needing better jobs and better pay with Robert B. Reich, the labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Ai-jen Poo, head of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, moderated by The Times’s David Leonhardt. Then, watch Okieriete Onaodowan (“Hamilton”) and Lexi Underwood (“Little Fires Everywhere”) perform a poem written by taxi drivers, nannies and others from the Worker Writers School at PEN America. And hear from Times readers who share how much they make and whether they think their pay is fair. R.S.V.P. here.


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