Trump Tweets Bogus Twitter Poll Asking Whether He’s Better Prez Than Obama

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Donald Trump on Thursday retweeted an unreliable online poll purporting to show that people think he is a better president than Barack Obama was.

Trump retweeted a survey by ProgressPolls, a Twitter account that describes itself as focused “on current events and politics.” The “poll” claimed 61 percent of respondents said he was a better president than Obama.

Online polls are not statistically sound, as they only reflect the views of those respondents who choose to participate instead of using random sampling and phone number generation, and do not adjust results to reflect proportional ratios of racial and gender groups relative to the national average.

ProgressPolls joined Twitter in March 2016, according to its profile, and lists its location as the United States. The account claims to ask “the tough questions that people need to be asked.”

There is no site listed in the account’s Twitter profile, but Progresspolls.com is a registered domain, albeit one without a front page. According to lookup service Whois.com, the domain was registered in July through a service listed in Panama City.

In a series of messages with TPM on social media, ProgressPolls said the account is run by “a group of four people scattered around” the United States and was created “to give people a chance to have their voices heard through the act of voting.”

“I think it’s pretty clear that our polls are not scientifically accurate, but do represent large masses of opinion here on Twitter,” ProgressPolls said.

ProgressPolls said it has “been getting quite a bit of traffic from” Trump’s retweet.

“We appreciate his RT, very nice to see!” ProgressPolls said. “It’s hard to expect what could happen within 24 hours in this political climate.”

Asked whether they’ve seen any broad swings in opinion since the account’s establishment, ProgressPolls said, “The country is more split than ever, people are on edge and want answers and action. That seems to be the most popular trend.”

ProgressPolls also denied any affiliation with the Panama-registered domain.

“No, not affiliated with that,” ProgressPolls said. “We’re just a Twitter account.”

The Daily Beast reported Thursday afternoon that ProgressPolls used to be named @Truth_Bombers, and promoted the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory and posted anti-Muslim tweets under that name.

One manager of the account told the Daily Beast that the “account has gone through several different management persons” and “has changed as such.”

h/t TPM reader RW

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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