Reuters/Ipsos Backs Away from Own Poll Showing Trump Surge

May 7th, 2018 6:38 PM

Normally when a poll is declared to be an "outlier" the source of such a declaration is a pundit or candidate who doesn't like the results. Therefore the branding of the May 4 Reuters/Ipsos poll as an outler was quite unusual because the source was...Reuters/Ipsos. Yes, this could be a first with a polling company asking the public to discount its own polling results. 

So why did Reuters/Ipsos back away from its own poll? Could the answer be that their poll showed a significant surge in support for President Donald Trump? Here is the Reuters/Ipsos disclaimer on the top of their poll page about the results of its own poll showing the Trump surge:

This week’s Reuters/Ipsos Core Political release presents something of an outlier of our trend. Every series of polls has the occasional outlier and in our opinion this is one. So, while we are reporting the findings in the interest of transparency, we will not be announcing the start of a new trend until we have more data to validate this pattern.

Here are the results that caused Reuters/Ipsos to issue a disclaimer suggesting that their own poll could have been an outlier:

The Reuters/Ipsos Core Political poll has a significant realignment this week across a number of metrics. Most pronounced is President Trump’s approval rating which currently sits at 48% with all Americans. His number with registered voters is essentially the same at 49%. Corresponding with Trump’s stronger approval rating, evaluations of his job performance across the board are stronger this week from 57% approving of his handling of the economy to 44% approving of the way he treats people like them. On the generic congressional ballot, our current poll shows a +5-point advantage for Democrats, the smallest lead we’ve seen in recent weeks.

Americans also report being more happy with the direction of the country in this week’s poll, currently 40% say we are going in the right direction. Public perceptions of the main problems facing America continues to be diffuse, with healthcare (17%), terrorism (14%), immigration (11%), and the economy (11%) all snagging share of attention.

Yes, a disclaimer by Reuters/Ipsos seems to be necessary when Trump's numbers jumps about 10 points in less than a month. Compare their current hastily disclaimed poll with the results of their April 18 poll to see the big change:

The number of Americans (39%) who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as President has remained fairly consistent over the last several weeks. Registered voters are slightly more likely to approve of his job performance (41%) than all Americans. When it comes to specific policy issues, Donald Trump receives the highest approval ratings on employment and jobs, where half of Americans (49%) approve of his performance. Americans are least likely approve of his handling of Russia (37%).

Of course, no disclaimer was necessary on the Reuters/Ipsos April 18 poll. That only seems to kick in when their poll shows good numbers for Trump which is explained away as a possible "outlier."