It was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a C-rated pollster, and focused solely on Florida, where Trump barely scraped out a win in 2016.
As Donald Trump raged at CNN for broadcasting a poll showing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with a 14-point lead, a pro-Trump cable news outlet pledged to release a poll favoring the president. The poll was published Thursday, and just as quickly taken down.
After CNN’s poll was released Monday, One America News Network (OANN) chief executive Robert Herring tweeted Wednesday that OAN would be releasing a poll “concerning the 2020 presidential race. It looks as though it will be in favor of @realDonaldTrump.”
The poll came out Thursday and revealed difficult numbers for the president, though OAN attempted to frame it in a positive light. It showed Biden and Trump tied in Florida, 50% to 50%, with Trump leading among undecided voters by 6 points, 53% to 47%. It was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a C-rated pollster, and focused solely on Florida, where Trump barely scraped out a win in 2016. OAN’s video segment—titled “OAN Poll: Fla. Voters Back Pres. Trump Amid Riots, COVID-19″—as well as a tweet promoting it, were deleted swiftly after they aired. Writer Arieh Kovler cached the image and posted the segment on YouTube.
The poll has a number of curious findings, including the extraordinary 50-50 split between voters. According to analysis from the Washington Post, polls usually do not find such evenly divided results. “At least 50 percent of Floridians would vote to re-elect their president if the election were held this week,” OAN reporter Kristian Rouz said in the segment. Even assuming that undecided voters would vote for Trump at the levels indicated, the same assertion could be made for Biden.
Also, the poll stated Trump leads Biden 53 percent to 47 percent among undecided voters. Put another way, explains the Washington Post, with a 50-50 split, Biden would have to be leading Trump among decided voters—which the OAN report failed to mention. The poll also presents Trump as leading Biden in confidence over the economy, glossing over the fact that Trump is under 50 percent among respondents and leads Biden by only four points, likely within the poll’s margin of error.
Polls concentrating on the presidential race conducted by other companies show Biden leading Trump in Florida by a three-point average.
Trump has been dogged by sliding poll numbers as his uncoordinated coronavirus plan and harsh response to social justice protests have eroded his base. Only 33% of U.S. adults approve of Trump’s handling of the recent unrest, according to a Reuters poll.