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Understanding the 2016 Election Polls

December 08, 2016

After Trump’s stunning upset on Election Day, pollsters have been making their best efforts to understand just why the 2016 election polls missed the mark. Although the estimate of the final popular vote was not terribly inaccurate, polling in swing states showed consistent error toward Clinton, skewing expectations for election night.  While AAPOR’s committee on  the accuracy of pre-election polling will not complete their in-depth review until the spring, in the meantime there are many sources of information and analysis about just what went wrong. For those in the DC area, Roper and DCAAPOR are sponsoring a afternoon panel on Wednesday, 11/16/2016, while those near Boston can attend a NEAAPOR panel that evening. PANJAAPOR will be sponsoring a talk by Gary Langer of Langer Research Associates on 12/8/2016 in Princeton.

The following articles also offer multiple perspectives on polling in the 2016 election:

How Did the Polls Miss the Presidential Election Result So Badly, Washington Post

How Data Failed Us in Calling an Election, New York Times

Why 2016 Election Polls Missed Their Mark, Pew Research Center

How Wrong Were the Polls in Predicting the U.S. Election, The Telegraph

Failed Polls Call into Question the Profession of Prognostication, Chicago Tribune

Why Pollsters Were Completely and Utterly Wrong, Harvard Business Review

Here’s What We Know About Why Polling Missed The Mark, Huffington Post Pollster

Epic Fail, The Economist

Trump’s Win Isn’t the Death of Data, It Was Flawed All Along, Wired

How Could the Polling Be So Wrong, Politico

The Polls Missed Trump. We Asked Pollsters Why, FiveThirtyEight