Is Donald Trump Really Ahead By 7 Points? Really?

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Here’s the lead story in this morning’s LA Times:

Donald Trump has gotten a significant boost from his party’s nominating convention last week; now, Hillary Clinton will try for her own….In Trump’s case, the post-convention bounce started to show up in a significant way on Sunday in the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll of the presidential race. The boost continued to build for several days and Trump now holds a 7-percentage-point lead, 47% to 40%.

This has already been disappeared from the front page of the web edition, perhaps out of sheer embarrassment. The problem it represents is a widespread one: because this poll is sponsored by the Times, they give it big play and act as if no other poll of the race exists. In fact, it’s a major outlier. The other three most recent polls (Rasmussen, CBS, CNN) basically show the race tied.

This is a bad media habit. They like to hype their own polls without telling their readers what other polls say. It’s understandable, but in this day and age it’s also inexcusable. The Times has almost certainly badly misled its readers here.

POSTSCRIPT: And one other thing. Even in the LAT poll, Trump is up 46.7 percent to 40.6 percent. That’s a 6-point lead, not a 7-point lead.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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