Democrats lived through one polling meltdown in 2016 that saw Donald Trump win the White House when all the “experts” predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide.
But the left thought that with Joe Biden holding a healthy 8 or 9 point lead in the polls, they were insulated from another Election Night debacle.
But Democrats got really bad news about why the polls might be wrong again in 2020.
As the country learned in 2016, national polls don’t win elections.
Winning enough individual states to cross the 270 Electoral College vote threshold is how you win the White House.
And while a rash of state polls recently came out showing Biden with an overwhelming lead in key swing states, other polls showed Donald Trump gaining on Joe Biden.
New York Times polling analyst Nate Cohn broke down the difference on social media.
“It’s been remarked on before, but recently there is a clear split between the live interview and online polling, with the live interview polling showing an unrelenting and even growing Biden lead while the online stuff shows Biden losing a bit of ground.
“If we only had live interview polling, we’d probably say these last ten days of results among RVs–Q+15, ABC/Post+15, NBC/WSJ+11, Monmouth+13 PA, Q+13 FL–we might say that’s Biden’s best period yet.”
Live operator polls – where the respondent speaks to another human being – have always shown worse results for President Trump.
Robo polls or online surveys where the respondent indicates their preference by clicking a button have teased out what appears to be a shy Trump vote that will not tell pollsters they are supporting the President.
The American Principles Project conducted ten battleground state polls with SPRY Strategies.
Their polling painted a very different picture with the presidential race, a toss-up with President Trump leading in seven states and Biden in three.
The results were as follows:
Arizona: Biden 49%, Trump 45%
Georgia: Trump 49%, Biden 46%
Iowa: Biden 48%, Trump 46%
Kentucky: Trump 60%, Biden 34%
Michigan: Trump 50%, Biden 45%
Montana: Trump 52%, Biden 42%
North Carolina: Trump 49%, Biden 46%
Pennsylvania: Trump 48%, Biden 47%
Texas: Trump 49%, Biden 45%
Wisconsin: Biden 46%, Trump 45%
These polls were conducted by both live landline and robopolling.
That could account for the difference in these polls that show a much more competitive race and the big name live phone survey polls showing Joe Biden blowing out President Trump.
Polls in states like Wisconsin and Michigan were way off-base in 2016 because they undersampled non-college educated voters.
Could the polls be setting up for another massive debacle in 2020?
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