While some Democrats remain skeptical of recent polls showing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden consistently with a strong lead over Donald Trump, a Saturday CBC News report argued that United States election polls are “more likely” to be correct on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The report noted that 2016 pollsters failed to predict then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s loss before highlighting the common belief that the polls were “massively wrong.”
“Actually, the polls weren’t far off the final result at all,” the piece argued. “Clinton did win the popular vote, besting Trump by 2.1 points. So the total error in national polls was quite small — in line with, and even little better than, past performances in national U.S. polling since 1972.”
The publication noted that state-level polling was significantly worse but also “in line with the last few decades.” According to the report, the issue in 2016 stemmed not from the polls completely missing the mark overall, but where they were wrong. In particular, those crucial swing states that Trump won to take the White House.
CBC News noted that many samplers have shifted their methodologies since 2016. Most notably, they are now weighting samples by education. After 2016, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) found that only half of the national pollsters weighted their data with voter education. In addition, just one-third or fewer of firms that collected data in the key Midwestern states that Trump won weighted their data with this variable.
“Now that more pollsters are weighting for education, the chance of making the same error in 2020 should be reduced. But it’s an open question whether these voters will be as decisive this time.”
One of the few samplers that predicted Trump’s win in 2016 was Trafalgar Group, which explicitly tracks likely general election voters. According to Georgia-based political strategist Robert Cahaly — the pollster’s owner — the race between Biden and Trump is closer than recent polls suggest.
Elsewhere, CBC’s Presidential Poll Tracker aggregated all U.S. polls and on Saturday showed Biden leading Trump by 10.8 points among decided voters. Conversely, Clinton was leading by just 4.8 points at the same time in 2016.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump’s advisers are allegedly turning increasingly pessimistic about the head of state’s chances of winning in November. Although campaign manager Bill Stepien has reportedly told staffers to ignore polling, three senior advisers suggested that he is not optimistic about the president’s chances of retaining the White House.
Still, other staffers reportedly see several paths to victory, and his campaign is allegedly attempting to keep their options open as much as possible as opposed to committing to one strategy.