Today I saw something on the official Donald J. Trump website straight out of a comedy TV show. In the season 4 finale of Parks & Recreation, Leslie Knope’s political opponent Bobby Newport (the politically clueless yet well-funded son of a local candy mogul) installs biased voting machines during the election. The offending machines reward Newport voters with Sweetums candy vouchers—and ask Knope voters to select a better candidate, all to the tune of a crying baby on the Sweetums logo.
It’s a great comedic bit because A) it’s Parks & Rec, and B) it’s ridiculous that a candidate would be allowed to filter voters’ opinions so blatantly.
Or maybe not?
This is the first of four questions on the Inaugural Year Approval poll site. (It’s live, if you’d like to vote.) If you responded like me, you might have clicked “Other,” since there was no option to give a negative response. And when you clicked “Other,” you might have been surprised to realize there was no opportunity for further elaboration.
Now, compare it to the same question for President Obama’s first year. Notice anything different?
There’s a fifth option added: “Poor.” Evidently, Obama’s term merited a negative option, while Trump’s did not. Here’s an even more blatant example.
What does this question even mean? That fake news outlets will publish real facts in regards to President Trump’s approval rating? That all media outlets are Fake News? Or are the poll creators trying to tell voters that theirs is the only real source for approval rating statistics?
Uneven answer banks, no elaboration, biased (dare I say salty) wording—this is everything that a scientific poll shouldn’t be. This isn’t how statistics works. This isn’t how feedback works. This isn’t how democracy works. This is what happens when a heavily opinionated team is left to their own devices and creates an echo chamber where everyone agrees with them.
This isn’t how statistics works. This isn’t how feedback works. This isn’t how democracy works.
The “Trump Make America Great Again Committee” should be ashamed of their thinly-veiled attempt to filter voter’s opinions in order to publish the results they want. And they’re certainly not doing President Trump any favors with this poll. In fact, it just makes him look like the crying baby on the Sweetums logo, who can’t handle the fact that not everybody will give him a positive rating.