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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‘Lost in a Gallup,’ FAQs

Lost in a Gallup: Polling Failure in U.S. Presidential Elections is the story of polling flops, epic upsets, unforeseen landslides, and exit poll fiascoes in American presidential elections. It is now out from University of California Press. Here are FAQs about Lost in a Gallup, the seventh solo-authored book by W. Joseph Campbell. Q: Clever […]

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The winners of July

The venerable Gallup Organization no longer conducts polls of U.S. presidential races. It dropped out after mistakenly estimating that Mitt Romney narrowly led President Barack Obama at the close of the 2012 campaign. Even though Gallup has quit election polling, a reservoir of its reporting remains available online; it’s a useful, even revealing resource about […]

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Reminders from ’48 in McCullough’s take on Truman’s come-from-behind campaign

The 1948 presidential campaign is endlessly fascinating, and it’s addressed at chapter length in Lost in a Gallup, my forthcoming book about polling failure in U.S. presidential elections. Lately, I’ve been rereading David McCullough’s account of President Harry S. Truman’s come-from-behind victory in ’48. That chapter is a highlight of McCullough’s hefty, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, […]

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Poll matters: Why it’s much too soon to write off Trump’s reelection

Five months from the presidential election in November and analysts across the political spectrum are saying the electoral map is bleak for President Donald Trump. Even conservative analysts have written ominously about Trump’s prospects for reelection. “Republicans have every reason to be worried” about the presidential election in November, Matthew Continetti, founding editor of the […]

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