Donald Trump will likely claim that Iowa voters don’t care about McCain. Not so fast.
At some point soon, Donald Trump will tell the world that the world agrees with his disparagement of John McCain, given that voters in Iowa put him in second place — even after the comments went public!
If (slash when) Trump says this, referring to a poll from Monmouth University released on Monday, you are advised to take the comment with a grain of salt. As you are advised to do at nearly all other occasions on which Trump says anything.
Given the surreal nature of Trump’s candidacy so far, it’s perfectly possible that his declaration that John McCain was not a war hero — a comment which inspired most of the Republican establishment to chastise him — Trump will see no negative repercussions with voters. The Monmouth poll suggests that’s where we’re headed. “In interviews conducted Thursday and Friday,” pollster Patrick Murray writes, referring to the two days prior to the McCain comments, “Trump garnered 13% of the vote to 19% for Walker. This is only slightly different than results from the Saturday and Sunday interviews, which put Trump at 13% to 25% for Walker.” In other words: Trump got 13 percent before the comments, and he got 13 percent after the comments.
Overall, though, the poll has a margin of error of 4.6 points, thanks to its relatively small sample size of 452 people. The smaller the sample, the bigger the margins of error. Which is why the “before-and-after the comments” bit should raise an eyebrow.
The number of people surveyed on Thursday and Friday was 230, Murray told me over the phone. For Saturday and Sunday? 222. Since there are about 610,000 Republicans in Iowa, the margins of error on either day was about 6.5 percent. So Trump maybe is getting 13 percent both days. Or maybe he got 18 percent on Friday and 7 percent on Sunday. Future polls will tell.
Again, it’s very possible that Trump will see no negative repercussions from his comments. His fans seems to be largely immune to what he says, relying instead on who he is. But this poll, relying on immediate polling for a weekend incident that most people probably still haven’t heard about, shouldn’t be considered definitive on that point. Not that this will prevent Trump from doing so, given that he cites this weirdo poll as evidence that he’s doing great with Hispanic voters in Nevada.
Oh, also? Scott Walker’s lead in Iowa continues, according to Monmouth. That’s how this 2016 campaign works, thanks to jerks in the media like myself. The baffling Trump sort-of-campaign gets the attention; everyone else hopes for a mention at the end of the article. There you go. Something about Scott Walker. Now let’s get back to Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump.