Why polls failed in 2020 still unclear

(A version of this essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 20 May 2021.) More than six months after the acute polling embarrassment in the 2020 U.S. elections, survey experts examining what went wrong are uncertain about what led to the sharpest discrepancy between the polls and popular vote outcome since Ronald […]

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What polling could use now

(This essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 10 November 2020.) Polling is hardly a flamboyant field that attracts a lot of colorful characters. It is a rather reserved profession that now finds itself under siege in the aftermath of yet another polling surprise in a national election. The field is buffeted […]

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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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Why we are so enamored with pre-election polls

(This essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 29 October 2020.) The Republican pollster Frank Luntz warned on Twitter and elsewhere the other day that if preelection polls in this year’s presidential race are embarrassingly wrong again, “then the polling industry is done.” It was quite the forecast. While it is possible […]

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