Some Swing State Polling Showing to Be Inaccurate
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – With many states nationwide still counting votes, many Americans find themselves anxiously waiting to see the final results of the presidential election.
With states like Georgia and Pennsylvania still close to call, many are looking to states such as Florida and Ohio – which were deemed by polls such as Nate Silver’s 538 to be toss-ups in the run up to the election, but ultimately were won by President Trump by a considerable margin.
This begs the question – how did the polls manage to be wrong?
Robin Derryberry with Derryberry Public Relations says the main cause of these polling errors had to do with fewer people having landline phones to conduct interviews.
“In the past you might’ve been able to do some polling toward a specific precinct or location and you could do that based on the numbers from your local election commission. Where you could go and pull addresses and match those to home phone numbers. Well that kinda went out the window when we all started giving up our home phones,” says Robin Derryberry.
Derryberry says that in the days following the election, pollsters will have to reassess their strategies if they want more accurate data moving forward.
“The first thing should take place over the next few days and that’s to take a long hard look at lessons learned. What worked really well, what didn’t work well, and why. And that’s difficult for pollsters sometimes to do because like everyone else we all have a good sized ego and it’s hard to get past that especially in the game of politics if you will,” says Derryberry.
For reference, Donald Trump ended up winning Florida by 3.5 points. This came after the final 538 average had Joe Biden winning the Sunshine State by 2.5 points. That means polls were off by as much as 5 points.