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Have Pollsters Learned Nothing since the Last Election?

While the moniker “fake news” is typically reserved for cable news and some of the more prominent newspapers in America, the term could also be applied to presidential polls. How many pollsters predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election by a landslide up to and including the day of the actual election?

The “paper of record,” the New York Times, told readers on election day, Nov. 8, 2016, that Hillary Clinton had an 85 percent chance of winning the election. Their prediction was updated on 10:20 PM ET, oblivious to the evening smiles on cable news shows that were curdling into frowns and outright hysteria.

Not only were they wrong, but they were also in abject denial over events unfolding before them in real time. The NY Times was in good company as most pollsters got it wrong in 2016, with Rasmussen arguably the most accurate of the bunch.

Have pollsters learned from their mistakes? Or are they about to step in it again in 2020? Judging by some recent polling news, it appears that history may be repeating itself. As the old proverb says, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”…


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