The art and science of polling has improved since 2016. Trump calls them ‘fake’.
Can you trust the polling numbers in the United States in 2020? Pollsters say yes, polling has improved since its failure in 2016 to forecast Donald Trump’s win. And yet, uncertainties remain.
Looking at the political polling data today, it would seem obvious that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is winning the election.
But the memory of Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 still haunts forecasters and pollsters four years later. There’s a level of caution in the wind. Few will venture a prediction.
“If we didn’t have in our memory 2016, we would be near certain that Biden could win,” said Shibley Telhami, a pollster and professor of political science at the University of Maryland.
“Any real objective analysis, including an objective comparison to 2016, would lead you to believe that Trump’s situation is pretty much hopeless,” Telhami told Al Jazeera.
Averages of high-quality surveys – those done by telephone, not online, and with track records of accuracy – show Biden leading in the three Midwest states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that gave Donald Trump the presidency in 2016.
If everything else remained the same and Biden won those states, he would win the White House. But nothing is ever that simple in politics and Trump is competing aggressively in the Midwest and elsewhere, claiming polls show him leading.
“We’re at 52 percent, they don’t want to report it,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on October 26.