Pollsters had a hard week after Republican nominee Donald Trump won the presidency, but a few polls called the race effectively, according to a report published Friday by Real Clear Politics.
The most accurate poll that surveyed likely voters was the Investor’s Business Daily poll, a poll that has one of the finest records for calling races in recent political history. It was one of the only polls that called the race for Trump in the final days of the election, giving him 45 percent of the vote compared to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The second most accurate poll according to the report was the national Rasmussen poll of likely voters. Although the end result showed that Clinton would win the race, the overall numbers are very close to the results, as long as you just count the popular vote. Clinton led Trump by 2 percentage points in the poll, nearly the same number as she led Trump in the overall popular vote.
Rasmussen polling reported that its polls focused on serious issues during the election. Other polling agencies, particularly the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, focused on media-fueled controversies like the confirmation of Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland.
Monmouth University carried the bottom of the charts in the Real Clear Politics analysis, although it should be noted that the inclusion at the bottom of the list doesn’t mean the polling agency was rated as the least accurate of all polling, just that it was less accurate than others further down on the list, like Bloomberg, Reuters, and the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll.
Outlets like Politico and the Harvard Business Review (HBR) condemned low sampling rates as well as the fact that certain portions of the population don’t respond to poll takers as the reason for so many pollsters missing the mark in the 2016 presidential election. HBR asserts that response rates for landline phones haven’t risen above 15 percent in several cycles.
The difference in accurate coverage has to do with how pollsters accurately account for the low response rates, as well as the validity of the models that predict voter turnout, according to the Review.
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