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So, in these final weeks before the election, second-guessing Democrats need to stop chasing the tails of the daily news cycle. Ive spent a lifetime in politics, I’ve seen a lot of elections, and have had my fair share of sleepless nights. But this race is different. Stay energized, shake off the 2016 PTSD, sleep well. Its time to think bigger. This November, we have a chance to not just win, but win in such a way that we will be able to change the trajectory of America for the better.
Support That Wasnt There
In 2020, overall, election polls pointed to Democrat Joe Bidens winning the presidency. But the polls overstated support for Biden and underestimated backing for Trump no matter how close to the election the poll was conducted and regardless of the methods pollsters chose. Surveys in races for U.S. senator and governor were beset by similar shortcomings.
Those were among the key findings described recently at the annual conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, which was convened online. The organization had recruited a task force of 19 experts in survey research who examined the 2020 election polls in detail and reported being unable, so far, to pinpoint specific causes of polling errors.
Their findings did make clear, however, that the 2020 miscall was the most significant in 40 years.
Polls in the presidential race in 2020 collectively overstated Bidens lead by 3.9 percentage points, the task force chair, Joshua Clinton of Vanderbilt University, said in a presentation at the conference.
This marked the fourth presidential election in the past five in which the national polls, at least to some extent, overstated support for Democratic candidates.
Pollsters: Impossible To Say Why 2020 Polls Were Wrong
A new report couldnt answer the big question plaguing political polling: Why were surveys off by so much in 2020?
07/18/2021 11:59 PM EDT
A new, highly anticipated report from the leading association of pollsters confirms just how wrong the 2020 election polls were. But nine months after that closer-than-expected contest, the people asking why are still looking for answers.
National surveys of the 2020 presidential contest were the least accurate in 40 years, while the state polls were the worst in at least two decades, according to the new, comprehensive report from the American Association for Public Opinion Research.
But unlike 2016, when pollsters could pinpoint factors like the education divide as reasons they underestimated Donald Trump and offer specific recommendations to fix the problem, the authors of the new American Association for Public Opinion Research report couldnt put their finger on the exact problem they face now. Instead, theyve stuck to rejecting the idea that they made the same mistakes as before, while pointing to possible new reasons for inaccuracy.
We could rule some things out, but its hard to prove beyond a certainty what happened, said Josh Clinton, a professor at Vanderbilt University and the chair of the associations 2020 election task force. Based on what we know about polling, what we know about politics, we have some good prime suspects as to what may be going on.
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Research Note: Examining False Beliefs About Voter Fraud In The Wake Of The 2020 Presidential Election
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election saw an unprecedented number of false claims alleging election fraud and arguing that Donald Trump was the actual winner of the election. Here we report a survey exploring belief in these false claims that was conducted three days after Biden was declared the winner. We find that a majority of Trump voters in our sample particularly those who were more politically knowledgeable and more closely following election news falsely believed that election fraud was widespread, and that Trump won the election. Thus, false beliefs about the election are not merely a fringe phenomenon. We also find that Trump conceding or losing his legal challenges would likely lead a majority of Trump voters to accept Bidens victory as legitimate, although 40% said they would continue to view Biden as illegitimate regardless. Finally, we found that levels of partisan spite and endorsement of violence were equivalent between Trump and Biden voters.
Trump’s Refusal To Concede
Early in the morning on November 4, with vote counts still going on in many states, Trump claimed he had won. For weeks after the networks had called the election for Biden, Trump refused to acknowledge that Biden had won. Biden described Trump’s refusal as “an embarrassment”. In the wake of the election, the General Services Administration refused to formally acknowledge Biden’s victory, and the White House ordered government agencies not to cooperate with the Biden transition team in any way. Starting in 1896, when William Jennings Bryan established a precedent of formal concession by sending a congratulatory telegram to President-elect William McKinley, every losing major party presidential candidate has formally conceded.
Trump acknowledged Biden’s victory in a tweet on November 15, although he refused to concede and blamed his loss on fraud, stating: “He won because the Election was Rigged.” Trump then tweeted: “I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go.”
In a June 2021 interview with Sean Hannity, Trump stated that “we didn’t win” and said that he wished President Biden success in international diplomacy, which Forbes declared as Trump ” as close as hes ever been to conceding his 2020 election loss.”
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Certification Of Electoral College Votes
The 117th United States Congress first convened on January 3, 2021, and was scheduled to count and certify the Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021. There were 222 Democrats and 212 Republicans in the House there were 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and two independents in the Senate. Several Republican members of the House and Senate said they would raise objections to the reported count in several states, meeting the requirement that if a member from each body objects, the two houses must meet separately to discuss whether to accept the certified state vote. A statement from the vice president’s office said Pence welcomes the plan by Republicans to “raise objections and bring forward evidence” challenging the election results.
On December 28, 2020, Representative Louie Gohmert filed a lawsuit in Texas challenging the constitutionality of the Electoral Count Act of 1887, claiming Vice President Pence has the power and ability to unilaterally decide which slates of electoral votes get counted. The case was dismissed on January 1, 2021, for lack of both standing and jurisdiction. The plaintiffs filed an appeal, and the appeal was dismissed by a three-judge panel of the appeals court the next day.
Be Careful With Poll Numbers
Though polls are often used to predict support for a particular candidate or policy idea, Clinton said it is important to put the results in proper context. The margin of error for a poll, for example, is actually not a statement of polling accuracy. It indicates the range within which the poll numbers would fluctuate if the poll were carried out repeatedly.
People sometimes think that just because there is a number attached that it must be precise. The reality is that there are a lot of errors that can accumulate in a single poll, based upon small decisions about what you assume about voterswhich can actually have enormous consequences within a polarized electorate. A bunch of small errors can end up producing consequential polling errorsespecially given how close recent elections are, Clinton said. One of the takeaways I hope people get from the report is that there are a lot of complexities that go into polling that are quite variable.
So how should the public interpret poll numbers?
Clinton suggested that readers should take the margin of error stated on the poll, double it, and see whether the difference between the two candidates is within the doubled margin of error. If it is, then it is hard to conclude which candidate is actually ahead in the race.
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Can I Still Vote If I Have Covid
Yes. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms, consider requesting an emergency mail-in ballot or using curbside voting. Contact your county elections office for more details about both options.
Have you run into hurdles or problems while trying to vote in Texas? We want your help in reporting on those challenges. Tell The Texas Tribune your voting story.
The economy was the most important issue behind the presidential vote for 11% of voters, and for 22% of independents asked to name the top issue behind their choice. It was also the top pick among Republicans , followed by socialism and/or communism, the issue mentioned by 12% of Republican voters on that open-ended question. Among Democrats, 19% cited removing the president as their top issue, followed by coronavirus/COVID-19 and health care .
Most voters have made their final decisions: 91% said they are unlikely to change their minds before they vote.
The reality is, if you look across those items, you see that the issue is, again, the personal traits of the president and, to a lesser extent, the former vice president, said Josh Blank, research director for the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. Ultimately, it is all about Trump.
The president lost independents in Texas a little while ago, and he hasnt gained them back, Blank said. Thats affecting Republicans up and down the ballot.
The ‘protest Vote’ In 2016
Despite the 2016 stumble, most polls in 2018 showing Democrats retaking the House and Republicans keeping the Senate proved accurate. Even so, pollsters caution that surveys are simply snapshots not predictors and that some are better than others at revealing voters’ deeper attitudes on issues and candidates.
Polls can influence voting behavior.
Brian Schaffner, a Tufts University political science professor, studied how some Bernie Sanders voters in 2016 cast a ballot for Trump. Those liberals might have thought Clinton would make a better president than Trump, but they also believed she would win anyway and couldn’t stomach the thought of voting for her, he said.
“It felt OK to cast a protest vote or just not turn out,” Schaffner said. “Some people felt more at liberty to cast a vote that they think wasn’t going to matter.
FiveThirtyEight, which analyzes opinion polling, warns not all polls are the same. It recommends consumers look at who’s being polled , check the track record of the pollsters and pay close attention to the margin of error. A poll that shows Biden up by 2 percentage points over Trump and has a 4-point margin of error means Biden could be up as much as 6 points or trailing Trump by 2.
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Opiniontrump Can Probably Only Beat Biden By Cheating And Democrats Can Stop Him
The Republicans know they are facing a resounding defeat. Like I predicted in April, they have tried to cheat at every turn. But if the polls hold, even with all their corruption and conniving, there is nothing that the Pennsylvania state Legislature, Wisconsin Supreme Court, or even Trumps precious Supreme Court justice Amy Coney Barrett will be able to do about it.
Now, this coalition will not hold forever. What has happened over the last four years has presented a once in a generation opportunity for Democrats to run up the score against a party that has become the most dangerous threat to American life weve faced since World War II. Quite honestly, its unlikely we keep retired military generals and urban teenagers in the same coalition forever. But from this moment of national peril, we can hope to repair the foundations of our government and push our country forward with giant bounds of progress.
Trump Bruised As Polls Favour Biden But Experts Warn Of Risk Of Dirty Tricks
The president has had a difficult period and is trailing his rival by double digits. But he has time to fight back and fight dirty
It was the death of a salesman. With tie undone and crumpled Make America great again cap in hand, Donald Trump cut a forlorn figure shambling across the White House south lawn on his return from his failed comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Some observers likened him to Willy Loman, the tragic protagonist of Arthur Millers benchmark drama.
The US president, critics say, has spent years selling a bill of goods to the American people. Now they are no longer buying.
The thinly attended rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last weekend was the physical manifestation of what poll after poll is showing: Trump is trailing his Democratic rival Joe Biden by double digits and seemingly on course for a historic defeat in Novembers presidential election.
But seasoned commentators warn against complacency. Trump still has time to fight back and fight dirty.
You look at the polls and think he cant win, tweeted Bill Kristol, who served in two Republican administrations. But Trumps path to victory doesnt depend on persuading Americans. It depends on voter suppression, mass disinformation, foreign interference, and unabashed use of executive branch power to shape events, and perceptions, this fall.
Another of Kristols warnings is about foreign interference.
With four months to go, anything could happen.
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Us Election: Trump And Biden To Face Each Other In November
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Donald Trump and his competitor Democrat Joe Biden each need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Most states are leaning or solidly in favour of one candidate, but in some states, the race is too close to call. According to the latest odds, Mr Trumps odds have slipped, but what does this mean for the US election presidential race?
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Maureen Shaver, another MPR News analyst and an adviser to Republican candidates and officials, agreed.
This campaign from the top down was always going to have been a referendum on President Trump. I dont believe the pandemic has changed that, Shaver said. But it has complicated it.
Trumps standing in the head-to-head numbers are close to his approval rating, with 45 percent of respondents backing his job performance and 53 percent who dont.
Trump won about 45 percent of the Minnesota vote in 2016, when Hillary Clinton eked out a win and extended the states unrivaled streak of backing Democratic nominees for president.
At this stage, both Biden and Trump have their respective party bases locked down 95 percent for each.
Susan Pfeifer, a 76-year-old retiree from Park Rapids, is a Republican who hopes Trump gets four more years.
To begin with hes not a politician, hes a businessman. And this country is a business, Pfeifer said. And I think hes running it like a business, and thats the way it should be run.
Pfeifer likes Trumps tough line toward China. She said his call to reopen the economy faster is the right move, calling coronavirus-related restrictions overblown.
I was hopeful it would work out OK, Jansen said.
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Why Dont Big Differences In Candidate Preference And Party Affiliation Result In Big Differences In Opinions On Issues
Opinions on issues and government policies are strongly, but not perfectly, correlated with partisanship and candidate preference. A minority of people who support each candidate do not hold views that are consistent with what their candidate or party favors. Among nonvoters, support among partisans for their partys traditional positions especially among Republicans is even weaker. This fact lessens the impact of changing the balance of candidate support and party affiliation in a poll.
Theres almost never a one-to-one correspondence between the share of voters for a candidate and the share of people holding a particular opinion that aligns with the opinion of that candidates party. Three examples from a summer 2020 survey illustrate the point.
White Voters Are Abandoning Trump
And theyre doing so for a surprising reason.
About the author: David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
For most of the past three years, the only thing more futile than looking for Donald Trump to pivot was expecting the American people to do so. No matter how successful the president was, or, more often, how chaotic and disorderly his administration was, nothing seemed to be able to shake up peoples views of Trump.
Popular approval of Trump hovered in the same narrow range, roughly from 39 to 45 percent, through Charlottesville and tax reform, supposed border caravans and mass shootings, Special Counsel Robert Muellers report and impeachment.
As the election approaches, the presidents approval rating becomes less important than how hes polling against his challenger. And in the past few weeks, something has shifted. After months of Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, leading by single digits, a series of polls has recently shown him building a sizable lead. Surveys from The New York Times/Siena College and Harvard/Harris have Trump trailing by 14 and 12 points, respectively. A series of swing-state polls shows Biden tied or leading in states that Trump won comfortably in 2016.
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