Should You Trust The Polls?

General election polling for special elections in 2018 has been remarkably accurate.

It’s election season. A time when the fancy of political prognosticators turns to opinion polling. Polls are one of the…

Especially since Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in 2016, many consider polls unreliable. The truth is that the polls in 2016 weren’t off as far as many think they were. The popular vote corresponded almost exactly to the national polls in which Hillary Clinton led by about two percentage points. At the state level, Trump eked out victories in a number of states where Hillary led in the polls, but polling in most of those states showed a very close race. Wisconsin, where polling showed Hillary up by about eight points, is the exception. Data from the American Association for Public Opinion Research shows that much of the error was due to a final-week surge after James Comey released his letter to Congress on Oct. 28, 2016.

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