Why You Can't Believe These Polls Reporting Warrenmania
A new poll conducted on behalf of the movement to draft Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential primaries finds her running ahead of Hillary Clinton. If that news induces some deja vu, it's for a good reason: Just two weeks ago, a poll conducted on behalf of the Draft Warren movement found that Democratic voters could be convinced to back her over Clinton.
Both polls offer voters plenty of free massaging in exchange for some positive Warren vibes. The new poll, conducted by YouGov, asked 400 respondents in both Iowa and New Hampshire who they'd back in 2016. But before they could consider that, they were told this about Warren:
"Elizabeth Warren wants to extend the same low interest rates that the federal government gives big Wall Street banks to college students who receive government loans for their education."
"Elizabeth Warren is critical of big banks that havesuccessfully blocked parts of the Wall Street oversight law that passed Congress, called Dodd-Frank."
"Sen. Warren has raised concerns about the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, a proposed trade deal that she says could weaken financial safeguards designed to 'prevent future financial crises.'"
"Sen. Warren opposes building the Keystone XL oil pipeline."
That, plus a series of Warren quotes about her biography and the economic scene, resulted in muddled contests: Warren up 31-24 over Clinton in Iowa, up 30-27 in New Hampshire. In each state, the percentage of newly undecided voters was greater than the support for Warren.
"This is not a so-called 'clean' head-to-head ballot question," stated MoveOn in the polling summary, "as voters were provided positive information about Warren but not other potential candidates. It should not be read as reflecting how Iowans or Granite Staters would vote if the caucuses orprimary were held today. Rather, it should be read as an indicator that many voters in these states are 'moveable.'"
Last month's Public Policy Polling survey, paid for by Warren-philiac liberal donors and released anonymously, had the same mission but a little less tact. Voters were prepped with a series of statements.
"U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has said that special interests like Wall Street have rigged the system in their favor, while working and middle class wages have stagnated. Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for President who wanted to bring the big banks under more control, or would it not make a difference?"
"Hillary Clinton has supported the deregulation of big banks, which contributed to the financial collapse in 2008. Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for President who supports less oversight of big banks, or would it not make a difference?"
"Hillary Clinton has defended bonuses for bank managers working for banks taxpayers had to bail out with hundreds of billions of taxpayer money. Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for President who supported bank bonuses, or would it not make a difference?"
"U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has criticized the bank bonuses as unfair and inappropriate. Would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for President who criticized continuing to pay bonuses to bank managers in banks that had received billions in taxpayer bailouts, or would it not make a difference?"
And so on. With all the surprise of Captain Renault walking into a casino, PPP reported that an electorate softened by these statements, by a 43-37 margin, did not want Clinton to run for president. By a 12-point margin, voters (of both parties) found her too beholden to special interests.
In current polling of the early primary states that does not prep voters with positive Warren statements or black-hat Hillary horror stories, the former Secretary of State leads by an average of 44.8 points (Iowa) and 34.7 points (New Hampshire).