In response to the inaccurate polls prior to Tuesday’s presidential election, leading Republican pollster Frank Luntz declared, “The political polling profession is done.”
Luntz made the comments to Axios on election night as races across the country were much tighter than the polls had predicted.
“It is devastating to my industry,” he said.
Axios said that people paid too much attention to the polls, “which have even more limitations than we realized.”
“It was a terrible night for polling,” the outlet said. “They were wrong, almost all of them, almost everywhere. Save yourself time and stop watching them so closely in elections.”
Other people tended to agree with Luntz’s gloomy outlook for his profession.
“Modern American polling is dead and modern American pollsters should find another vocation so they stop wasting all of our collective time and helping to gaslight the media and American public,” Meghan McCain tweeted.
Modern American polling is dead and modern American pollsters should find another vocation so they stop wasting all of our collective time and helping to gaslight the media and American public.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) November 4, 2020
Matt Lewis wrote a piece for the Daily Beast headlined “Dear Pollsters: You Suck, and We’re Finished With You.”
Dear Pollsters: You Suck, and We’re Finished With You https://t.co/uCy1aqS2oF
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) November 4, 2020
Giancarlo Sopo, the co-founder of the CubaOne Foundation, pointed to a Univision Network poll that was off by 55 points.
It’s early, but it’s worth noting that Univision Network teamed up with Joe Biden’s Latino pollster to claim Trump was *LOSING* Cubans by 15.
He’s winning Cubans by ~40.
Univision’s poll was off by 55 pts.https://t.co/fN2aRcvmMY
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) November 4, 2020
In an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald, sociologist Salvatore Babones expanded on the “failure of mainstream opinion polling.”
Major national polls tracked by FiveThirtyEight showed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with an average 2.5 percentage point advantage in Florida.
“Reality sunk in the minute Florida started reporting its election results, indicating a narrow victory for the Donald in what is legally his home state,” Babones wrote, saying that the results went against the consensus that Biden would “cruise to victory.”
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With 96 percent of the votes counted, Trump led Biden by 3.4 percent in the state — a difference of nearly 6 percentage points.
One of the reasons for this disparity, according to Babones, is a model error.
“In the age of the mobile phone, very few people answer calls from unlisted numbers, and even fewer want to talk to a pollster — who, for all they know, may be a fraudster in disguise,” Babones wrote.
“No major commercial polling company is brave enough to reveal its response rate.”
The Pew Research Center, a not-for-profit, said that its response rates have dropped from 36 percent two decades ago to 9 percent.
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