State pollsters, pummeled by 2016, analyze what went wrong

… The 2016 election, which rewarded the media’s love of hyperbole, made fools of almost every prognosticator. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, which had given Hillary Clinton a 71.4 percent chance of victory, came out better than most; Sam Wang, director of the Princeton Election Consortium, blew it so badly that he made good on a promise to eat a bug live on TV. (He pronounced it “nutty.”)

But when the national popular vote was certified, the major national pollsters were nearly redeemed. The final Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll put Clinton three points ahead of Trump. She won the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points, about the same as Jimmy Carter’s 1976 margin over Gerald Ford. No national pollster was as badly burned by 2016 as by 2012, when those projecting an Obama-Romney tie had to explain a clear Obama majority.

It was a different story in the states, where a half-dozen pollsters, seen as rock-solid for their command of the local numbers, saw a Clinton win that never materialized. CONT.

David Weigel, Washington Post