12 Stories

Why So Many Pollsters Were So Completely Wrong

Some theories as to where it went off the rails

(Newser) - The prevailing question the morning after Donald Trump's stunning victory is: How did so many get it so wrong? An "absolutely unreal" "Chance of Winning Presidency" graphic on the New York Times' forecasting page Tuesday evening showed Trump ascending from a 20% chance of winning the White... More »

These Few Correctly Picked Trump, and Were Ignored

Vindication for LAT/USC poll

(Newser) - One of the most common questions being asked Wednesday is how pollsters and pundits managed to be so wrong about Donald Trump. Well, not everybody was wrong:
  • The Los Angeles Times/University of South California tracking poll consistently had Trump in the lead through the final months, often to much derision.
... More »

'Polls Don't Matter,' Says Obama Pollster

Campaign's opinion boss to volunteers: Don't get discouraged

(Newser) - Poll fluctuations are no biggie because "at the end of the day, polls don't matter," says the very guy in charge of, well, polling for President Obama. "Polls will go up, polls will go down," Obama's head of opinion research, David Simas, told... More »

Pollster Saves Woman's Life With Well-Timed Call

Bobby Berlin went into diabetic shock on the phone

(Newser) - Who says pollsters aren't good for anything? Not Bobby Berlin. The New York City woman had just gotten a call asking how she felt about Michael Bloomberg when she went into diabetic shock, NBC New York reports. "Something just sounded off," says the pollster, a Marist College... More »

Pollster George Gallup Dead at 81

Gallup founder's son specialized in tracking religious beliefs

(Newser) - George Gallup Jr. has conducted his last poll. The renowned pollster, who helped run the polling organization his father founded for more than 50 years, has died of liver cancer at the age of 81, the New York Times reports. Gallup, who once considered becoming an Episcopalian priest and worked... More »

Come 2012, Follow These Polls

Quinnipiac, SurveyUSA tops for accuracy, finds Nate Silver

(Newser) - Now that the dust has settled, whose polls were the best predictors of the actual midterm results? Nate Silver ranks them by accuracy and party bias over the last 21 days of the election cycle. The most accurate, according to his calculations: Quinnipiac, which “showed little bias,” he... More »

Don't Trust Any Poll That Omits Cellphones

They're ignoring 25% of the populace

(Newser) - Yeah, it's expensive, but pollsters need to start calling cellphones. According to the latest CDC data, 23% of US adults, or 25% of US households are cellphone-only, writes Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com . Add in “cellphone-mostly” households and that jumps to 40%—and it could be even higher by... More »

Why People Lie About Having Voted for Obama

(Newser) - A lot of people are lying about having voted for President Obama. A recent Wall Street Journal poll gives Obama a 50%-39% edge over John McCain—a big bump over his actual 7% victory. A New York Times survey shows Obama winning with a nearly 2-to-1 margin. That’s a... More »

Pollsters: Our Predictions Could Be Off

Cell phones, turnout, and prejudice threaten to skew forecasts

(Newser) - Pollsters worry that a growing affinity for cell phones (most surveys rely on landlines), unspoken racial biases, and tough-to-predict turnout among young people and black people could skew their predictions come November, writes Mark Blumenthal in the National Journal. When pollsters "compare notes this year, worry is the prevailing... More »

Barr, Nader Each on 40+ States' Nov. Ballots

Best-known third-party candidates get 3.3% in polls, but experts say that may ebb

(Newser) - Voters in most states in the US will see Ralph Nader and Bob Barr on the presidential ballot, Politico reports. Nader made it in 45 states and the District of Columbia, though the independent missed Texas. Barr’s Libertarian bid made the ballot in 44 states. The two combined for... More »

Will Women Abandon Palin, Too?

What makes women shed their ideals to support Palin?

(Newser) - When Geraldine Ferraro joined Walter Mondale's ticket in 1984, Ronald Reagan got a boost from women voters who may have felt threatened by Ferraro's personal and professional success. Nearly 25 years later, the effect of Sarah Palin joining John McCain contrasts sharply with Ferraro's fortunes, and prompts Newsweek to take... More »

'Palin Factor' Levels Race

McCain tied with Obama in latest poll

(Newser) - John McCain has erased Barack Obama's lead, transforming the presidential race to a statistical dead heat, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama's lead among women dropped from 10 to 4 points since August, which is largely attributed to Sarah Palin's popularity, reports MSNBC. More »

12 Stories