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Why I don't believe the CBS Trump poll
It's the War Games WOPR scenario
Thursday, the spectacle of Donald J. Trump turning himself in at the Fulton County Jail will consume the media, even eclipsing the search for a thousand missing souls in Maui and California digging out of mud and floods. And the network of “it may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS” put out a poll claiming Trump leads the field of Republicans among “likely primary voters” with 62 percent, to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 16 percent, with everyone else in single digits.
I don’t believe it.
I don’t think the people CBS polled believe it. First, from this CBS/YouGov poll: 71 percent say they “feel” what Trump tells them “is true.” But 50 percent say the 2024 campaign has been “too much about Trump,” and 61% say Trump would beat Biden. It’s a soup sandwich, as my old retired Air Force boss used to say.
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CBS and YouGov are being trolled by a bunch of people who don’t know their behinds from a hole in the ground, but do know that CBS is invested in sensationalist propaganda. The most honest statistic is 68 percent who answered the poll are considering other candidates “to keep options open,” with another 47 percent “waiting to see the debate,” 42 percent “Trump is controversial,” and 30 percent “concerned about Trump’s legal fights.” That adds up to 187 percent, if you’re doing the math like I am.
There’s an old saying in computers, “garbage in, garbage out.” The CBS/YouGov poll is garbage, refined and statistically modeled. Folks who use this data are like the guys in the control room at NORAD in the movie “War Games.”
“General, you are listening to a machine.”
There’s a debate Wednesday, a day before Trump might alter his flight plan, and hijack himself, as he posted on Truth Social: “I’d fly far away, maybe to Russia, Russia, Russia, share a gold domed suit with Vladimir, never to be seen or heard from again.” I’m hoping someone on the debate stage in Milwaukee would use that line. Trump will not be on the stage, but will instead tape an interview with sycophant Tucker Carlson to be released opposite the debate.
Nobody even knows what a Republican is these days. The best definition I can come up with is “not a Democrat,” which hearkens of Orwell’s INGSOC, being not Eastasia or Eurasia. Essentially, we have a giant bloc of independents, mixed in with an unhealthy cult, along with a bunch of confused people who may or may not be Republicans.
It’s really hard to dredge up the memory of August, 2015, when Trump shared a stage with Gov. Jeb Bush, Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio, and set the stage for the most unconventional campaign any of us have ever seen. I really hope someone emerges from Wednesday night with more than a whimper.
The “Trump in the lead” fallacy is simply a placeholder for people who have no idea what they want, but know it’s not what they’re getting. The problem is news media and campaign analysts who take this stuff seriously. Someone needs to run onto the stage during the debate and shout “but does it make sense?”
Trump is playing the seat of his pants so hard he’s worn a hole in his Depends. As long as Other People’s Money lasts, he’s going to run down every conspiracy theory, tin-foil hat idiocy, and self-promotion scheme to Make Felonies Great Again. We can’t continue to live Trump’s fantasy because it evaporates and we’re left with nothing.
With all the AI stuff out there, you’d think we would recognize when we’re seeing a computer-enhanced hallucination. The candidates on stage Wednesday need to do the world a favor and stop reacting to it.