My new CJR column points out that the 2016 general election trial heat polls currently being reported now have no predictive value and displace attention from the real action taking place in the invisible primary:
We’re still almost three years away from November 2016, but political journalists seem to want to fast-forward past the ongoing Washington stalemate to the next presidential election. How else can we explain the recent flurry of coverage for trial heat polls, which pit possible presidential contenders against each other in hypothetical general election matchups?
There’s just one problem: These polls—which exist mainly to generate press coverage for pollsters and fill space in the media—have zero predictive power at this point in the election cycle, don’t tell us anything we can’t learn from other metrics, and distract attention from the real action at this stage of the campaign.
Read the whole thing for more.