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Election 2020: What Went Wrong With Pre-Election Polling? What's Next For The Industry

Flickr/ Phil Roeder

In the Presidential Election, there was no shortage of polls, and no shortage of outrage after the election from both sides of the political spectrum when much of the data appeared to have been unreliable.  Many polls had Joe Biden cruising to a crushing victory, with the Democrats riding a blue wave to a Senate majority and an even bigger margin in the House.

Today on Midday, a conversation about the often precarious profession of polling.  It’s a complicated and somewhat risky proposition to suggest that we can know the outcome of the horse race before the race Is over, but the obsession with the horse race, from any election cycles earliest moments, is at the heart of the problem.  There are other things we can and should glean from polls that are ultimately more revelatory and enlightening than who’s up and who’s down. 


Dr. Mileah Kromer is the Director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College

Ariel Edwards Levy is a senior reporter and polling editor at HuffPost, where she oversees collaboration with the website YouGov.

Dr. Natalie Jackson is the Director of Research at the Public Religion Research Institute.

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