The day before the US Senate Special Election in Alabama, Fox News has released a poll that some say threatens the network’s credibility.
Looking at the numbers, the contrast is obvious. An Emerson poll taken over a similar time period came to a result 19 points distinct, in favor of Doug Jones. The question is – why?
The state of Alabama, which has not cast its electoral votes for a Democrat since 1960, is overwhelmingly populated by Republicans. In the 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump won the state by a 28.3 point margin. More telling is that John McCain won the state by 21.6 points in 2008, a year that Republicans lost the state of Indiana, which has voted Democrat only one other time since 1940.
The Fox News poll sampled an almost equal number of Republicans and Democrats, 44%-42%, respectively.
Such a clear disparity between the actual demographics of the state and the methodology of the poll will inevitably lead to misleading results.
When reporting the results of the poll on television, Fox did not display the sampling on screen.