Did you know America hates democrats more than republicans? President Donald J. Trump does! Or, at least, he thinks he does.
Monday evening, Trump tweeted out a link to an NBC/WSJ poll which he claimed would indicate Americans favor congressional republicans over congressional democrats:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2017
The poll's data itself was hosted on Scribd, which would normally be suspicious, but the original NBC article announcing the poll's results provides the same link. This is to say, the data Trump linked to hasn't been manipulated—and he maybe should wish it had been.
Why's that? Because the poll doesn't actually match what Trump claims.
Page 5 of the poll data contains the information being referenced in Trump's tweet. Participants were asked if they approve or disapprove of the job democrats were doing, and then to give their opinion on republicans' performance.
31% stated they approve of congressional democrats, and 32% stated they approve of congressional republicans. Taking those two numbers by themselves, Trump would be technically correct in saying the GOP is viewed more favorably—even if by a mere 1% margin. But it's the numbers on disapproval that need to be taken into account for a clear picture:
58% of respondents said they disapprove of democrats' job in congress, while 60% said the same about republicans. While the GOP is 1% ahead in approval, they're 2% behind in disapproval, for a net difference of 1% less favorability.
Why are these numbers adding up strangely? Well, 11% of respondents didn't feel strongly enough to make a definitive statement about democrats, and 8% abstained from giving a yay or nay to republicans.
It's also interesting why Trump would link to this poll when it shows 48% of respondents disapproving of his performance as president so far.
One would think a president would be more concerned with providing information on policies and plans rather than results of popularity polls, or at least make sure whatever polls they're referencing match the statement they're making without casting them in a negative light. But President Donald J. Trump can't waste time on clear messaging or addressing hate crimes when he's got more important issues like lying about Sweden.