President Donald Trump was livid at a recent CNN poll that found 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden's lead widened to a full 14 points ahead of the current President, 55%-41%.
Trump excoriated the poll on Twitter and employed flawed Conservative pollster McLaughlin & Associates to try and refute the poll.
CNN Polls are as Fake as their Reporting. Same numbers, and worse, against Crooked Hillary. The Dems would destroy America!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1591620515.0
I have retained highly respected pollster, McLaughlin & Associates, to analyze todays CNN Poll (and others), which… https://t.co/GnTzXISDpc— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1591643685.0
McLaughlin said the poll wasn't credible because it interviewed more Democrats than Republicans (there are more Democrats than Republicans in the United States.) It stated that the poll interviewed 1,259 adults instead of registered voters, but neglected to mention that the question of Trump vs Biden was only posed to 1,125 registered voters.
Never one to let go of a perceived slight, the Trump campaign soon wrote to CNN President Jeff Zucker, demanding the network retract and apologize for the poll.
Here’s the Trump campaign cease and desist letter to CNN. https://t.co/NhmqbV1YWF— Ted Johnson (@Ted Johnson) 1591814735.0
The letter reads in part:
"Therefore, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. is formally requesting that CNN retract its skewed poll by publishing a full, fair and conspicuous retraction, apology, and clarification to correct its misleading conclusions.
The poll is intentionally false, defamatory, and misleading, and designed to harm the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. campaign."The network soon responded.
Noting this was the first time in its 40 years that the network had been threatened with legal action by an American politician for its poll results, CNN general counsel David C. Vigilante said:
"To the extent we have received legal threats from political leaders in the past, they have typically come from countries like Venezuela or other regimes where there is little or no respect for a free and independent media."
It went on to call out the Trump campaign citing the findings of McLaughlin & Associates:
"CNN is well aware of the reputation [of] John McLaughlin and McLaughlin & Associates. In 2014 his firm famously reported Eric Cantor was leading his primary challenger Dave Brat by 34 points only to lose by 11 points—a 45 point swing. The firm currently has a C/D rating from FiveThirtyEight."
"In any event, McLaughlin was able to evaluate and criticize CNN's most recent poll because CNN is transparent and publishes its polling results...That's how free speech works. It's the American way."
The letter concludes:
"Your letter is factually and legally baseless. It is yet another bad faith attempt by the campaign to threaten litigation to muzzle speech it does not want voters to read or here. Your allegations and demands are rejected in their entirety."
CNN executives weren't the only one to dismiss the demands.
@oliverdarcy How long until the Trump campaign demands that everyone apologize for claiming that the earth revolves… https://t.co/IYJileVcLh— Joel Klebanoff (@Joel Klebanoff) 1591811392.0
@oliverdarcy @davidfolkenflik He's going to be sending an awful lot of cease and desist letters on November 4th.— Dan Fesperman (@Dan Fesperman) 1591811637.0
@oliverdarcy Trump tells reality, cease and desist.— dmk (@dmk) 1591811508.0
@oliverdarcy @yashar Future polls should come with a trigger warning for the Trump campaign...— Lalit Wangikar (@Lalit Wangikar) 1591813356.0
The Trump campaign's complaints regarding the numerous polls showing Biden ahead appear to be in complete denial of all available information.
@peterbakernyt We will see these bogus complaints until Nov. Trump is already setting things up so he can claim a r… https://t.co/Iizt9O6z92— Wine Lover (@Wine Lover) 1591644696.0
**ALL** of the polls are showing Biden in the lead, and have been for some time. But Trump only demands an apology… https://t.co/lQYczsw1P1— Michael Arnovitz (@Michael Arnovitz) 1591814674.0
Reality check... Trump is seeing polls showing his support slip - a fact he finds so ridiculous that he's hired a… https://t.co/P9FT9Y1lvM— Dave Stancliff (@Dave Stancliff) 1591802578.0