How pollsters could use social media data to improve election forecasts

Donald Trump’s Nov. 8 victory surprised almost everyone. But if pollsters had looked at Twitter, they might have recognized that the race was close — or so we learned in our recent research. Even when polls were showing a big lead for Hillary Clinton, real-time analysis of social media was […] Read more »

Why the polls missed in 2016: Was it shy Trump supporters after all?

Following the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, the American Association for Public Opinion Research announced, “The polls clearly got it wrong … and already the chorus of concerns about a ‘crisis in polling’ have emerged.” Many forecasts based on polls were indeed wrong, but a closer look leaves us more […] Read more »

The truth behind House Democrats’ 2016 polling

Though the results on Election Night up and down the ticket were ultimately different than the predictions from experts, pundits and analysts, a factual look back shows that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) internal polling clearly and accurately predicted the rise, fall, and ultimate landing for House Democratic candidates. […] Read more »

Survey weighting and that 2% swing

Nate Silver agrees with me that much of that shocking 2% swing can be explained by systematic differences between sample and population: survey respondents included too many Clinton supporters, even after corrections from existing survey adjustments. In Nate’s words, “Pollsters Probably Didn’t Talk To Enough White Voters Without College Degrees.” […] Read more »

How to recover from the polling disaster of 2016? Look beyond polls.

Planes rarely crash because one instrument fails or one gauge gives a bad reading. Rather, the right combination of things fail in tandem — a mechanical problem paired with bad weather, a backup system malfunctioning at the same time as a pilot error — leading to catastrophe. The disaster of […] Read more »

What will pollsters do after 2016?

Jason Husser, Elon University Clinton defeated Trump much like Dewey defeated Truman. Both election results were dramatic surprises because pre-election polls created expectations that didn’t match the final outcomes. Many polls were very accurate. For example, the polling averages in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona were within 0.1 percent of the […] Read more »