Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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How Does Trump Look In The Polls

Turnout Error B: The Pandemic Effect

Trump Polling Among ‘The Blacks’ Abysmal: Do Black Repubs Think #45 Is Going To Be Supported By Us?

The suggested problem

The once-in-a-generation coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered how people intended to vote, with Democrats disproportionately concerned about the virus and using early voting and Republicans more likely to vote in person on Election Day itself. In such an unusual year with so many people voting early for the first time and some states changing their procedures its possible that some Democrats who thought they had, or would, cast a ballot did not successfully do so. A related point is that Trump and the Republican Party conducted a more traditional get-out-the-vote effort in the campaigns final weeks, with large rallies and door-to-door canvassing. These may have further confounded likely voter models.

Is this mainly an election polling problem, or would this be of wider concern to issue pollsters as well?

To the extent that polls were distorted by the pandemic, the problems may be confined to this moment in time and this specific election. Issue polling would be unaffected.

To the extent that polls were distorted by the pandemic, the problems may be confined to this moment in time and this specific election. Issue polling would be unaffected. The pandemic may have created greater obstacles to voting for Democrats than Republicans, a possibility that polls would have a hard time assessing. These are not problems we typically confront with issue polling.

What could we do to fix it?

Don’t Believe The Polls Trump Is Winning

Joe BidenHouse Democrats push vote on social spending plan to FridayFauci says all adults should ‘go get boosted’Senate confirms Park Service director after years of acting headsMORE is leading, or at best that its close, those polls suffer from at least three problems.

First, the tone of the questions. There is significant evidence from behavioral psychology that suggests that the way a question is framed predetermines the range of potential answers. In fact, Gallup has found that respondents can answer very differently to questions with the same topic even in the same survey based on the language thats used. And the use of metaphors can even dwarf the importance of preexisting differences between Republicans and Democrats.

One of the reasons respondents do that is because of a tendency to give socially desirable answers, which was the case especially during the 2016 election. Most people dont like confrontation, so the easiest, albeit not necessarily the best, solution is to avoid it. Right now, saying that youre voting for Trump/Pence is often not the socially desirable answer. In fact, a recent poll by the Cato Institute suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the political climate is sufficiently harsh that they dont want to give their genuine opinion about politics.

Trump Viewed Favorably By More In Iowa Gop Than Chuck Grassley

Trump has always been a polarizing figure in the state the percentage of all Iowans who viewed him favorably topped 50% only once before in polls dating to January 2018. That was in March 2020, just as the coronavirus pandemic began to surge in the U.S.

But he has maintained popularity among Iowa Republicans throughout his time in office, and the vast majority continue to view him favorably.

According to the Registers Iowa Poll, 91% of Iowa Republicans have a favorable view of him and just 7% view him unfavorably. Another 2% are not sure.

Those marks put Trump in league with Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is viewed favorably by 90% of Iowa Republicans. And it surpasses Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is viewed favorably by 81% of Iowans.

Iowa Poll:Chuck Grassley leads Abby Finkenauer in test of possible US Senate matchup

I did not foresee the day when Donald Trump would be 10 points more popular with Iowa Republicans than the venerable Chuck Grassley, said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co.

That Republican goodwill contrasts with Democrats feelings for Trump, 99% of whom view him unfavorably. Just 1% view him favorably.

Independent Iowans are nearly evenly split, with 48% viewing him favorably and 49% viewing him unfavorably. Another 3% are unsure.

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It’s Time To Pass The Torch: Sen Leahy Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection

Exactly one week ago, I wrote these words: “If you listen to him long enough — no easy chore — Donald Trump will tell you all his secrets.”

“If it’s bad, I say it’s fake. If it’s good, I say that’s the most accurate poll ever.”

Biden Leading National Presidential Polls

What Do Trumps Reelection Chances Look Like Right Now?

National polls are a good guide as to how popular a candidate is across the country as a whole, but they’re not necessarily a good way to predict the result of the election.

In 2016, for example, Hillary Clinton led in the polls and won nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump, but she still lost – that’s because the US uses an electoral college system, so winning the most votes doesn’t always win you the election.

With that caveat aside, Joe Biden has been ahead of Donald Trump in most national polls since the start of the year. He has hovered around 50% in recent months and has had a 10-point lead on occasions.

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The Basic Challenge Of Polling Explained

The most basic way to conduct a telephone poll of American public opinion would be to generate a few thousand random phone numbers, call everyone on the list, and ask the people who answer who they are planning to vote for.

Election polling of the past really did, more or less, work like that, which is one reason that the margin of error has traditionally loomed so large in reporting on polls, and in polling itself. As you may dimly remember from a high school statistics class, a relatively small random sample of a much larger group of people can give you a fairly accurate estimate of what the larger group is like. And theres a formula you can use that relates the size of your sample to the reliability of your estimate thus allowing you to generate a 95 percent confidence interval and a margin of error that surrounds it.

But in the modern world, the problem you will have if you try to conduct a poll by calling random people has nothing to do with sampling error and everything to do with the fact that few people will answer the phone. Poll response rates have plummeted in recent years to the point where you need to dial over 15,000 phone numbers to get 950 responses.

Worse for pollsters, the group of people who do answer the phone is going to be a non-random slice of the population. Young people, people of color, people who do not speak English as their first language, and people with lower levels of education are all much less likely to answer surveys.

How Much Polls Were Off

Let’s start with the presidential election. Nationally, the polls said Biden would win the popular vote handily by somewhere around 7.2 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average.

That’s nearly double the current margin, which stands at 3.8 percentage points, a little more than two weeks after Election Day.

It’s a smaller margin than there appeared to be on election night, with votes still waiting to be counted.

Meanwhile, polling nearly perfectly captured presidential vote preferences in some battleground states, but it was off by a wide enough margin in others that it threw off election forecasters.


In a handful , polling was fairly accurate, off by around a point or even less.

In Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin, the polls were off sizably by more than 4 points. In all of these cases, the polls underestimated Trump’s performance in relation to Biden. This echoes 2016 polls, which also underestimated Trump’s standing in key states in relation to Hillary Clinton.

What may ultimately set this year apart from 2016 is that national polls four years ago were very close to the final result just 1.2 points away. This year, once all ballots are counted, it may be the case that polls were off significantly both nationally and across swing states.

Importantly, not only did polls underestimate Trump’s performance in the presidential race, but they also appear to have underestimated Republicans in congressional races.

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Turnout Error A: Underestimating Enthusiasm For Trump

The suggested problem

Election polls, as opposed to issue polling, have an extra hurdle to clear in their attempt to be accurate: They have to predict which respondents are actually going to cast a ballot and then measure the race only among this subset of likely voters. Under this theory, its possible that the traditional likely voter screens that pollsters use just didnt work as a way to measure Trump voters enthusiasm to turn out for their candidate. In this case, surveys may have had enough Trump voters in their samples, but not counted enough of them as likely voters.

Is this mainly an election polling problem, or would this be of wider concern to issue pollsters as well?

If the main problem this year was a failure to anticipate the size of Republican turnout, the accuracy of issue polls would be much less affected. It would suggest that survey samples may already adequately represent Americans of all political persuasions but still struggle to properly anticipate who will actually turn out to vote, which we know is quite difficult. Fortunately, the eventual availability of state voter records matched to many election surveys will make it possible to assess the extent to which turnout differences between Trump and Biden supporters explain the errors.

What could we do to fix it?

Back to the mines on reinventing likely voter scales.

% Of Public Does Not Want Trump To Remain A Major Political Figure In The Future

Why Donald Trump keeps outperforming the polls – BBC News

Pew Research Center conducted this study to examine the publics reactions to the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, including a look into Americans views of Joe Biden as the president-elect and thoughts about the insurrection that took place at the Capitol earlier this month. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,360 U.S. adults in January 2021. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of Pew Research Centers American Trends Panel , an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. Read more about the ATPs methodology.

Here are the questions used for the report, along with responses, and its methodology.

As Joe Biden prepares to take office just days after a deadly riot inside the U.S. Capitol, 64% of voters express a positive opinion of his conduct since he won the November election. Majorities also approve of Bidens Cabinet selections and how he has explained his plans and policies for the future.

Trump voters, in particular, have grown more critical of their candidates post-election conduct. The share of his supporters who describe his conduct as poor has doubled over the past two months, from 10% to 20%.

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Can We Trust The Polls

It’s easy to dismiss the polls by saying they got it wrong in 2016 and President Trump frequently does exactly that. But it’s not entirely true.

Most national polls did have Hillary Clinton ahead by a few percentage points, but that doesn’t mean they were wrong, since she won three million more votes than her rival.

Pollsters did have some problems in 2016 – notably a failure to properly represent voters without a college degree – meaning Mr Trump’s advantage in some key battleground states wasn’t spotted until late in the race, if at all. Most polling companies have corrected this now.

But this year there’s even more uncertainty than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic and the effect it’s having on both the economy and how people will vote in November, so all polls should be read with some scepticism.

It’s Getting Harder To Poll

However, it is important to appreciate the challenge pollsters face.

Ideally, the method of polling is to survey a small sample of respondents who are representative of the population to get a fairly accurate picture of the public opinion.

In practice, this approach faces some problems. First, people who are surveyed may not feel comfortable revealing their true political positions.

It is particularly an issue when respondents support a politician who is polarising, like Trump. In the US, such respondents have been called “shy Trump voters”.

Second, pollsters may struggle to gather a representative sample of the population. When everybody had a landline, polling could be done by randomly picking numbers in the phone book.

In the era of mobile phones and internet, that is not possible anymore. People who answer polling surveys on the internet may be very different from the population as a whole.

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Trump And Biden Both Still Have Pathways To Victory

As of this moment in the race, Joe Biden has clinched 220 electoral votes, while President Donald Trump has secured 213 votes, according to NBC News projections.

It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the White House. NBC has yet to make calls in more than a half-dozen crucial states, and thousands of votes including rafts of mail-in votes in some states and counties have yet to be tallied up.

Both candidates can envision various pathways to 270 votes, based on the states that have yet to be won.

Trump, for example, could hit that target by scoring wins in Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada. Biden is also hoping to win Pennsylvania but pathways to the White House are still available to him if he loses the Keystone State and even Wisconsin.

The former vice president could, for instance, win if he carries Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Michigan assuming he wins at least one vote from Maine, which is considered highly likely.

Here are the states that are still too early, or too close, for NBC to call:

  • Pennsylvania

Its Not Clear Polls Have Been Fixed

US Presidential Election 2020, Trump vs Biden: See Latest ...

We can say with some confidence that pollsters will not make literally the exact same methodological mistake they made in 2016. But some people familiar with the education weighting issue have jumped too hastily to assuming that the polls have been fixed since Trumps initial victory.

When Nate Cohn, of the New York Times, surveyed state-level poll accuracy in the wake of the 2018 midterms, he found that on average the polls had become more accurate.

But in states where the polls overestimated Clinton, they also tended to overestimate Democrats in 2018, and vice versa. National polling, in both years, was more accurate. The 2018 race was largely focused on the House of Representatives, so the state-level polling errors didnt seem like a huge deal psychologically. Democrats underperformed here and there and disappointed themselves, but also overperformed massively in California and made up for it by winning some surprise seats out west. In the Electoral College, of course, underperforming the polls in Pennsylvania and Florida and making it up in California would not be so benign.

Perhaps even more important, Bidens polling lead is just really large at this point. The polls could be off badly and he might win anyway.

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