Tags: Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | Polls | 2016 | election | pollsters | fake news

Despite '16 Debacle, Pollsters Haven't Changed Their Methods

Despite '16 Debacle, Pollsters Haven't Changed Their Methods
Defeated Democratic presidential challenge Hillary Clinton (Phil Long/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 November 2017 08:34 PM

Public pollsters and analysts across the United States have not altered their approach despite major blunders in the 2016 presidential election, while private pollsters have started to make changes, The New York Times reports.

Private polls are typically commissioned from partisan firms and campaigns, while mostly the media and universities conduct public polls.

Public pollsters typically use random digit dial samples to reach a random sampling of Americans, while campaign pollsters tend to use samples from voter file data rather, but education is not often included on public voter files. The 2016 election polls missed their mark as most forecasters pegged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as the heavy favorite by anywhere from 70 to as high as 99 percent in certain battleground states that decided the presidency.

Many underestimated President Donald Trump's level of support, especially among the less educated voters.

The Times suggests one possible fix is to "weight by education" as many pollsters do not account for the fact people with college degrees are more likely to take surveys.

"This is the first time ever that I've weighted education, getting ready for some elections in 2018," Glen Bolger, a pollster for the prominent Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies told the Times, "because education is a pretty damn good predictor."

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The mistakes made by polls in the 2016 election have yet to do anything to the methods used in polling that created the bias which incorrectly projected a Hillary Clinton victory over President Donald Trump.
2016, election, pollsters, fake news
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 08:34 PM
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