Pollsters swore that after they blew the 2016 election by missing Donald Trump’s win, they sorted out the flaws in their methods.
Election night was their test.
And this top pollster made a surprising admission about the polls in 2020.
Once again the polls were wrong.
Media and university pollsters showed Joe Biden winning the national popular vote by the largest margin since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
These polls also showed Biden’s route in the key battleground states.
In addition to the polls, the new generation of “data journalists” who interpret polling data and generate probability forecasts of who will win an election showed Joe Biden as a heavy favorite much in the same way they did with Hillary Clinton.
The most famous of the “data journalists” is FiveThirtyEight.com’s Nate Silver.
On a podcast interview, Silver defended the pollsters and FiveThirtyEight arguing they mostly called the election right.
“If they’re coming after FiveThirtyEight, then the answer is f*ck you, we did a good job!” Silver declared.
Silver also falsely claimed the polls were no more wrong in 2020 than they were in 2016.
“You do want to wait and until states are fully counted, like Ohio got called correctly for Trump but the remaining vote there is going to make the margin lower, so if you do that it looks like the swing state polls will be off by about three points in the average swing state,” Silver argued. “Ranging from some like Arizona where they’re right on and Minnesota, to others where there’s like a six or seven point error, and that’s kind of very similar to 2016.”
That’s not true at all.
The errors in 2020 were worse as the polls were off by seven points in key states as opposed to five points in 2016.
Silver also defended the polls and his forecasting models as calling the winners of each state largely correct.
“I think it shows increased sophistication that people can say, ‘Okay, maybe you didn’t miscall that many winners,’ right? Like the only states where Biden led in the polling average that he has lost so far is Florida, and I think he’ll lose North Carolina. He might win Georgia, though,” Silver added.
“On the one hand, you have the 2016 criticism, where maybe the polls were close but they were wrong directionally, and then in 2020 say, ‘Oh, well the polls, I mean they may have been the right call, except in one state, but the margins were off,’” Silver stated. “That’s the better criticism, but you have to pick one of those two. You can’t do both.”
This is missing context.
The Real Clear Politics polling average showed Joe Biden holding high single-digit leads in Michigan and Wisconsin and both races ended up being decided by narrow margins.
Polls underestimated support for Donald Trump in Ohio, Florida, and Iowa.
In both cases though, the polling error cut against Donald Trump and allowed the fake news media to present an inaccurate picture of the election that suppressed Donald Trump’s support.
The media gleefully falsely claimed that Joe Biden was blowing out Donald Trump in the hope of fooling Trump supporters into staying home because their leader was beaten and their cause was lost.
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