There are polls and there are observations. These days, the latter are much more reliable:
Once upon a time, long, long ago, public opinion polls may have reflected, however faintly, some generalization of public opinion. For a multitude of reasons, that is no longer true. To demonstrate that point, compare the August 29 Rasmussen poll showing President Trump’s approval rating of 47 percent with the Quinnipiac reported approval rating of 38 percent. Even more irrational are the Quinnipiac poll result that whatever is left of Joe Biden would beat Trump 54 percent to 38 percent in a general election and the Economist poll number that asserts that 55 percent of the public thinks the country is headed in the wrong direction. It is a near certainty that none of those numbers reflects reality.
So, discarding the meaningless political polls, I went to the most accurate opinion poll I am aware of for my pre-quadrennial presidential forecast: the Washington County (Pa.) Agricultural Fair.
After my 2016 visit to the fair, I reported that Trump was going to win Washington County big. Why? Enthusiasm was enormous. Trump hats were everywhere. People were wearing Trump shirts and Trump pins. These were not all registered Republicans, either. There was a large booth selling Trump merchandise and doing a land office business. There was no similar Clinton enterprise. The parking lot really told the story. Literally thousands of pickup trucks, gun racks behind the seats, many with Trump stickers and campaign messages on bumpers and tailgates. Mixed in were Mercedes and Lexus, many with similar stickers. If Mercedes and Lexus made gun racks, they would have had those, too.
The County Fair Poll was pretty accurate. Washington County turned out big: nearly 75 percent of its registered voters went to the polls, and they voted for President Trump with 60 percent of the vote. That means a lot of registered Democrats voted for President Trump.
What does the early forecast for 2020 look like based on the 2019 Washington County Fair? It looks as if President Trump will do even better than 2016. I have never seen such enthusiasm, especially so far before an election. More than 75,000 people attended the fair, and the crowd was a sea of MAGA and KAG hats, Trump shirts, Trump pins, you name it.
Even the New York Times is trying to caution its readers not to take the polls predicting the God-Emperor’s electoral demise too seriously:
Millions of Americans who did not like the president in 2016 now say they do. Over all, his personal favorability rating has increased by about 10 percentage points among registered voters since Election Day 2016, to 44 percent from 34 percent, according to Upshot estimates.