We Need to Move Beyond Election-Focused Polling

… In the wake of the 2016 election, which was not the massive failure in polling that many imagine but rather a misstep that exemplifies the current flaws of the system, many are asking “what is the future of polling?” Traditional polls cost a lot of money, take a lot of time, and are very rigid in their question design; this is all done in pursuit of the impossible hope of random and representative samples. The good news is that it is possible to correct for differences between sample and population. …

The most interesting developments in polling, however, go far beyond mere tweaks to the standard paradigm. Traditional polls are atomistic, focusing nearly entirely on characteristics and opinions of the individual respondent and aiming for a single target: Election Day. It’s when we move beyond these narrow focus points that we will start to see gains. CONT.

Andrew Gelman (Columbia) & David Rothschild (Microsoft Research), Slate