Donald Trump lost the debate on Monday, clearly, cleanly, and by basically all objective measures: sportsmanship, truth telling, content, and yes, even temperament. However, even as fact-checkers would work through the night to try to handle the sheer volume of lies Trump began to post poll after unscientific poll declaring himself the winner.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2016
The response from many: sheer shock and that rising feel of bile into the back of your throat. How could the nation have been watching the same debate we watched?
I seen websites where they said Donald Trump won the debate I am not sure if we were watching the same thing or not but Hillary killed it
— Gary Walker (@lilg12398) September 27, 2016
Simply put, Donald Trump’s loss was so violently clear that the thought that ANYONE, let alone overwhelming majorities of people, could have seen it as a win for him was enough to cause loss of faith in humanity.
— Leonardo Dell'Anno (@Usualsuspectguy) September 27, 2016
Well, you can comfortably and calmly swallow that bile. Loud, braggadocious, and totally unscientific: NPR put Trump’s nightmare scenario that our fellow Americans were insane enough to think bragging and whining “wins” a debate to bed. Some were, but then again, some are voting for him.
From NPR, (emphasis mine):
Many of the results he cited came from very Trump-friendly sites, such as Breitbart News and the Drudge Report. Some of these polls were shared by Trump supporters on reddit, encouraging people to go vote. These were not selective samples with any merit, and in no way could they accurately measure whether the more than 81 million people who tuned in for the debate thought Trump did better than Hillary Clinton.
The NPR story got into detail, most of these “polls” were simply traffic producing tools with no safeguards to keep people from taking them as many times as they wished. No way to see who was responding, what party, where they live, if they were even in the country. They were literally and truly just “click counting.”
When the real polls began coming out showing a clear Clinton victory, these “Flash polls” were already out there drawing attention and boggling minds. They muddied the water, giving the rabid Trumpers something to grab onto. They needed it, Trump’s actual performance was dismal, even according to conservative pundits.
From the NPR article:
In fact, actual scientific polls have shown that Clinton was the clear winner on Monday night. A CNN poll just after the debate showed 62 percent of voters thought Clinton had the best performance, while just 27 percent said Trump did. …
A Politico/Morning Consult poll also gave Clinton the win, 49 percent to 26 percent. Another survey, from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, also found Clinton won by 11 points, 51 percent to 40 percent. A two-day poll from Echelon Insights found that 48 percent of registered voters thought Clinton won the debate, while just 22 percent thought Trump did.
There is very clearly people that saw the debate differently than most people did, they have been Trump supporters and will be Trump supporters. Facts, reason, data, truth: all of these are subjective to them.
Just remember, as Jessica Taylor for NPR pointed out: the flash polls in 2012 showed Ron Paul “won the GOP debates by wide margins,” yet, he was never President.
Donald Trump will need to cling to these little, false, victories. Especially in light of the fact that 538 has written that it appears that not only did Hillary Clinton win the debate, it may just translate to a post-debate bounce in the polls. Something that seems pretty reasonable. Since Tuesday, Real Clear Politics has also shown a rally in Clinton’s numbers.
It would seem such an overwhelming “Trump win,” would not look like this:
Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images