Yet another polling surprise

(This essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 4 November 2020.) Election polling is facing yet another reckoning following its uneven-at-best performance in this year’s voting. Although the outcome in the 2020 presidential race remained uncertain the next day, it was evident that polls faltered, overall, in providing Americans with clear indications […]

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Disrupting the endgame: Five scenarios

(This essay originally was post at the Conversation online site on 21 October 2020.) The storyline of the presidential campaign seems to be solidifying, as polls show Joe Biden maintaining a sizable lead over President Donald J. Trump. But the lead may not be insurmountable, and the election is not over. The history of polling […]

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Why polling failure is often journalistic failure

This is an abbreviated version of a commentary originally posted at The Hill; the commentary was drawn from Lost in a Gallup: Polling Failure in U.S. Presidential Elections. It’s axiomatic that pre-election polls set the narrative for U.S. presidential campaigns. … polls are central to shaping conventional wisdom about the competitiveness of the races. But […]

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The hazards of glide-path campaigning

This is an abbreviated version of a commentary originally published at The Hill The “Dewey defeats Truman” upset election of 1948 is endlessly fascinating, an enthralling morality tale about the cockiness of pollsters, the credulity of journalists, and the hazards of glide-path campaigning. Pollsters were confident that Thomas E. Dewey would unseat President Harry Truman […]

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