CNN Forecaster Craps All Over Poll Showing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Leading Biden


CNN forecaster Harry Enten threw cold water all over an attention-getting poll that showed Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren leading Joe Biden by one point nationally, fairly screaming at viewers that CNN did a poll at the “same freakin’ time!”

On Tuesday morning’s edition of CNN’s New Day, hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman asked an overly-caffeinated Enten to analyze a recent Monmouth University poll that showed Warren and Sanders at 20 percent nationally, one point ahead of Biden at 19 percent.

“What does it mean? What does it mean?” Enten said, noting correctly that  “This poll seems to be getting so much press.”

But then he pointed out that “There were four national polls, probability live interview sample polls, that were done during the month of August, and this poll sticks out like a sore thumb for this reason.”

Pointing to a graphic comparing the four polls, Enten said “CNN poll, which was done at the same time as this Monmouth poll, people, same freaking time! Twenty-nine percent for Biden, Fox News taken only about a week before, 31 percent for Biden, Quinnipiac University, done earlier this month, 32.”

“And then you have 19 here,” Enten said, indicating the Monmouth poll. “That, my friends, is the definition of an outlier.”

Enten also compared polling averages before and after the debates, concluding there was no “enthusiasm gap” for Biden, and partially dismissed the large crowds that Warren has been drawing.

“A very impressive crowd of 15,000 in Seattle on Sunday, but you have to put this into context,” Enten said, adding “Washington, where Seattle is, to my understanding of the U.S. map, Bernie Sanders won those caucuses 73% to 27%. It’s not a representative state in terms of the ideological spectrum, it’s significantly more to left on the Democratic side.”

That Monmouth poll has given life to supporters of Sanders and Warren, but has also drawn criticism over the poll’s small sample size — 298 registered voters — and a margin of error that could allow a swing of as many as 12 points, or as Enten noted, even more when the poll’s “design effect” is taken into consideration.

That could mean that Biden is actually ahead of Warren and Sanders by 13 points, but it could also mean that Sanders is beating Warren and Biden by 14. You just don’t know. Except that Enten is arguing that the CNN and Fox News polls — taken at almost exactly the same time and with margins of error of +/- 3.7 and 3 points, respectively — tend to indicate that Biden still enjoys a sizable lead.

But not so fast, there, Skippy. The Monmouth poll is slightly more recent than CNN’s, and the theory for the Monmouth poll would be that it’s a leading indicator of a knotted primary race. An Economist/YouGov poll taken one day after the Monmouth and completed the same day has Biden at 22 percent, Sanders at 19, and Warren at 17. That’s not much of a shift for Warren and Biden in that same poll, but a six-point jump for Sanders since the beginning of the month.

No one’s going to bet the farm on a single poll with a 298-person sample, but it’s probably too early to dismiss it completely.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

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