The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Donald Trump in 2nd Place? Well, Check That Sample Size . . .


A number of Campaign Spot readers continue to feel excitement and eager anticipation over the possibility of a Donald Trump presidential campaign.

A big trigger of today’s Trump buzz is the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which shows Trump in second place among GOP primary voters, trailing Mitt Romney’s 21 percent with 17 percent. Among Republicans who describe themselves as supportive of the Tea Party, Trump leads with 20 percent!

But the numbers may not be as significant as they initially seem; the sample size among those two groups is significantly smaller than the 1,000 adults who make up the sample as a whole. The NBC/WSJ poll showing Trump in second place among GOP primary voters has a margin of error of 6.35 percent; among Tea Partiers, the margin of error is 8.5 percent.

Having said all that, one of my readers argues Trump is a master of the media — and there is something amazing about the bluntness with which he addresses Meredith Viera’s questions this morning:

I could see many, many Americans gravitating to his vision of a foreign policy that puts American interests first.

We take care of ourselves first, okay. We don’t build schools in Afghanistan. We go to Afghanistan, we build a road, we build a school, and two days later, they blow up the road, they blow up the school, and we start building the road and the school again. In the meantime, we can’t build schools in Alabama, we can’t build schools in New Orleans, Texas, New York . . . We’re spending trillions and trillions of dollars.

On the oft-mentioned issue of President Obama’s birth certificate, he says, “I’m starting to think he wasn’t born in this country . . . Three weeks ago, I thought he was born in this country. Now I’ve got real doubts. I have people that actually have been studying it, and they cannot believe what they’re finding.”

Tags: Donald Trump


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