Fox News’ latest poll shows Biden ahead by 7 points. Yet, Fox’s approach to polling is different from most other polls. Experts reviewed the method and data. Then some wondered if it wasn’t skewed to show bad numbers for Trump.
In short, Fox News undersampled independent voters by 70%.
We present the data–you decide: How Fox Allegedly Manipulates Polls
- FOX undersampled independents by 70% in the August 14th poll. (For the past year they have been undersampling independent voters by about that much).
- This undersampling is material because FOX’s own poll shows Trump polling better than Biden with independent voters.
- When we control for the undersample, the data shows a statistical dead heat.
FOX NEWS SAYS
FOX News claims to poll registered voters. They also claim to use a method designed to represent the underlying population:
Given the approach, participation should reflect the distribution of registered Republican, Democrat and independent voters found in the country. It does not.
First, I attempted to gather voter registration data from all states. But, some states restrict registration data to political candidates only. In the states where I obtained registration data, the ratio of Republican, Democrat and independent voters look identical to Gallup’s numbers.
Gallup has been tracking political affiliation since 2004. For July 2020, here are their results: 28% Republicans, 38% Independents, 29% Democrats.
Pew has been tracking voter affiliation since 1994. Their latest report shows: 29% Republicans, 34% Independents, 33% Democrats.
I was only able to get registration data from 28 states. From those states, here are the numbers:
|28 State Sample|
Fox News’ Sample Compared
Data from FOX News’ poll of registered voters.
|Fox Poll August/2020||43%||46%||11%|
|Avg. of Pew, Gallup, registration||28.3%||30.3%||37.6%|
The data suggests Fox News oversamples registered Republicans by 51.9%, and Democrats by 51.8%. Fox undersampled independent voters by 70.74%. Remember, they are claiming their poll is based on registered voters. The disproportionate set of registered voters’ affiliation suggests there was self-selection of the sample.
Undersampling independent voters hurts Trump’s numbers. Why? Because Fox’s own poll numbers show that Trump performs better with independent voters than Biden. This is a consistent finding in almost every poll this election cycle.
THE DATA SAYS
Let’s extrapolate the data to match the proportion of Republican, Democrat and independent voters. We will use FOX’s poll data to deduct how each of these groups would vote. This will unskew the data and give independent voters their rightful voice in this poll.
The results show a statistical dead heat. It shows Biden up by less than two points — which is less than Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.
|Pool 28.3||Pool 30.3||Pool 37.6||Pool 3.8|
FOX undersampled independent voters. If Fox News followed their published methodology, they could not undersample any group by 70%. After unskewing the numbers, we found a statistical dead heat race.
This is an important lesson. Pollsters can change the outcome of the poll by skewing independent voters. The data suggests this is how Fox News is manipulating polls. Since their audience is largely Republican, viewers would discount a poll if it oversampled Democrats. Very sneaky!
Follow up: We are not the only ones to notice Fox’s undersampling of Independents.
- Western Journal wrote about what they found.
- The Trump War Room also understands what Fox News is doing:
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