A Short History of Poll Land.

Yes, dear Readers (and, occasional hackers) you read that title correctly: I’m not talking about the country of Poland, which undoubtedly has a rich and proud history, but rather the exactly inexact “science” of Statistics. With an election drawing near I thought now might be a nice time to reflect upon history.

2016, June 14th:

Bloomberg Politics releases a poll showing Hillary Clinton leading Candidate Donald Trump by 12 points nationally.

2016, October 26th:

An Associated Press-GfK Poll just 12 days before the 2016 election shows Hillary Clinton leading Candidate Donald Trump by 14 points nationally, a “staggering lead“.

2016, November 8th:

Candidate Donald J. Trump is elected President of the United States by winning more Electoral Votes. Clinton won the Popular Vote by winning California and New York, but President Trump wins the popular vote in 30 of the 50 United States.

Over 21 polls wrongly predicted as late as Election Night that Hillary Clinton would win.

2020, June 8th:

CNN releases a poll showing Biden leading President Trump by 14 points.

2020, September 18th:

A New York Times / Siena poll shows Biden leading President Trump by up to 17 points in some states.

2020, October 5th:

NBC News and The Wall Street Journal releases a poll showing Joe Biden leading President Trump by 14 points.

2020, November 3rd:

Americans (who don’t mail-in their votes) will go to the polls and elect another President.

How many polls will incorrectly predict a Trump loss this time?

As the noted author Mark Twain once said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Should President Trump be re-elected, it might be fun to watch all the people who incorrectly predicted his loss attempt to explain themselves, as they transform from “Pollsters” to “Pole dancers”.

Thanks for Reading!


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