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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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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