Trump Keeps Citing Online Votes Even As Polls Show He Lost The Debate

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Update 7:43 p.m.:

While the Ipsos/Reuters national tracking poll released Wednesday showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in both head-to-head and four-way matchups, an Ipsos/Reuters States of the Nation poll conducted in Iowa from Sept. 2-22 showed Trump leading by 10 points in the state, 51 percent to 41 percent. Trump appears to have been referring to the older poll of Iowa.

Original post below:

Donald Trump opened up a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Wednesday afternoon touting what he suggested was a new poll showing him leading Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

“So I understand that we have a Reuters poll where we’re 10 points up!” he bellowed.

But it’s unclear where Trump got that number. An Ipsos/Reuters national tracking poll released Wednesday morning actually found Hillary Clinton ahead by six points in a head-to-head race against Trump, and by four points if third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein are included.

Trump went on to cite a series of flash online polls whose responses showed him “winning” the first presidential debate against Hillary Clinton. Earlier Wednesday, Business Insider reported on a leaked memo from a Fox News executive to the network’s politics team, reminding them that such online polls “can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate.”

“I’ll tell you what, we had the debate the other night, and every single online poll had me winning, by sometimes a landslide. And then you go on television, and these are Time Magazine, Drudge,” Trump said, referring to two websites which hosted online polls inviting readers to react to the debate. “And I’m winning by massive margins in many cases. One was 80 percent to 20 percent!”

Such polls don’t draw data from randomized phone numbers and internet users, as more trustworthy pollsters do, and are susceptible to “brigading,” or the concerted efforts by small groups of self-selected respondents to tilt them disproportionally in favor of one option.

“And I’m winning all these polls — how many were there, seven or eight or nine? Hundreds of thousands of votes,” Trump said, “and then I have to sit back, and you have to sit back, and hear about how those polls don’t mean anything, but when they poll 300 people, that means a lot, right?”

As Trump spoke in Council Bluffs, two reputable polls were released showing that respondents thought Hillary Clinton won Monday night’s debate by a large margin.

One, from NBC News/SurveyMonkey, found 52 percent of respondents thought Clinton won to Donald Trump’s 21 percent. Another from Reuters/Ipsos found that 56 percent of respondents thought Clinton won to Trump’s 26 percent.

The NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll surveyed 7,541 likely voters and the Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 2,036 American adults, of which 1,336 were considered likely voters. Both polls were taken immediately after the debate ended. The NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll has a margin of error of 1.6 percentage points, and the Reuters/Ipsos poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

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