Johnson Closer To 15% Than Previously Thought


Some new analysis and evidence shows that Gary Johnson is likely a lot closer to hitting the 15% mark than we thought, and a lot closer than the polls show.

Phone polls only represent 1% of the nation — people who are willing to answer a phone call from an unknown caller. Most polling is generally done this way, but recently, pollsters have been slowly rolling out polls that include a percentage of the poll done via online polling.

A new poll by Public Policy Polling shows that when online polling was used, Johnson received 12%, whereas with phone polling he only received 5%.

Not only that, but we’ve seen a trend of bias within phone polling against the nation’s biggest voting group — independents — and the nation’s youngest voting group, being millennials. The bias doesn’t stop there. In terms of the polls that were used to measure Johnson’s polling percentage in qualification for the debates, the Fox News poll undersampled independents by around 20%, and the CNN/ORC poll doesn’t even sample millennials whatsoever.

Gary Johnson is leading with both independents and millennials, so the lack of correct representation of these demographics by these polls, along with the use of phone polling, is suppressing Johnson’s numbers. It is very likely that Johnson is closer to 15% than most polls suggest.

This new analysis suggests that Johnson was unfairly suppressed by the polls used to determine debate qualification, and as such also unfairly left out of the debates. Johnson was recently left off of the first presidential debate stage after not having met the criteria — the 15% threshold — according to the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. He is looking to bounce back and hit the threshold to make it in for the second and third presidential debates in the coming weeks.

Only time will tell: will pollsters use fairer and more representative polling methods, or will the continue to use ones that suppress Johnson’s percentage, effectively keeping him off the debate stage?

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  1. I brought this up regarding a previous article about a CNN/ORC poll that allegedly did not sample millennials. That is false. Millennials were surveyed, and their data used. However, in some crosstabulated tables certain statistics could not be calculated with the desired error level, so results in those tables were omitted. This included a couple columns for respondents that indicated their age as “18-34”, as well as other subsets of respondents. Other tables of results included the responses of millennials. Given that this was represented in the earlier article as deliberate, I think this error in interpreting the survey results should be pointed out.

    Now, the issue of reaching young people by traditional survey methods is real. Researchers use weighting and other methods to try to deal with this. Again, that is very different from claiming that this age group is not sampled.

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