We all recall that in 2016, polls consistently showed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a comfortable to commanding lead over then-candidate Donald Trump. On election day, however, Trump crushed Clinton in the Electoral College.
Polls again show Trump losing to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Trump has taken to reminding people about what happened four years ago, saying the polls are underestimating him. Now Politico appears to agree.
While the outlet contends that pollsters aren’t “deliberately skewing their surveys against the president and his party,” but says they “are still grappling with the problems that plagued those polls four years ago.” The problem is particularly concerning with polls in battleground states, Politico reported.
“In fact, most pollsters believe that, on balance, state polls are overstating the scale of Biden’s advantage. That was precisely the problem in 2016: The national polls were largely accurate, to within the margin of error. But there were too few state polls, and many of those that were conducted failed to collect accurate data, especially from white voters without college degrees in key swing states,” the outlet reported. “And those issues haven’t been fixed.”
Courtney Kennedy, director of research at the Pew Research Center, told Politico that concerns from 2016 are still valid.
“I would say that most, if not all, of the concerns that we expressed still hold — some to a lesser degree,” said Courtney Kennedy, who also helped write about the issues the polling industry faced in 2016. “But I think some of the fundamental, structural challenges that came to a head in 2016 are still in place in 2020.”
More from Politico:
Biden’s current lead over Trump is so large — over 8 percentage points in the national RealClearPolitics polling average, and an average advantage of 3 points or greater in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that a 2016-level polling error wouldn’t matter. A lead that large would probably guarantee Trump would be denied a second term, and even a polling miss on par with 2016 wouldn’t be enough to overcome it.
But that doesn’t mean the president’s standing is quite as dire as it looks on paper — the problem that pollsters identified in 2016 remains. Not enough surveys are being conducted in the battleground states, and those that exist are failing to account for a key political dynamic of modern politics, especially in the Trump era: the rapid movement of lower-income white voters to Republicans and upscale whites to Democrats.
As Politico noted, one of the major problems for pollsters in 2016 was failing to properly weight for white voters without a college degree – a key group of Trump’s base.
GOP pollster Glen Bolger told the outlet he believed pollsters also failed to get Trump voters to respond accurately to polls, fearing judgment or retribution.
“I don’t know how big the effect is. I also don’t know what the ratio is between it being ‘shy Trump’ voters and interviewing too many college graduates and not enough non-college grads,” Bolger told Politico. “But I do think those are factors in some of the polls that show a particularly wide lead for Biden at this point in time. And I do think that things will be closer in the states than the polls indicate right now.”
Author: Ashe Schow
Source: Daily Wire: Politico Agrees That Polls Are Underestimating Trump Just Like In 2016