Are the Polls Rigged? Are the Numbers Phony? Are the Polls Wrong?
Are the presidential polls rigged? Are the numbers phony? Donald Trump tweeted out on Monday about a major story that the Dems are making up phony polls in order to suppress “the Trump.”
Is Trump really right about the polls? Are they intended to mislead voters? Are they meant to help depress Trump’s supporters and to help suppress Trump’s voter turnout? Let’s look at these questions now …
What’s the Evidence that Polls Might Be Rigged or Just Plain Wrong?
It is difficult to determine the intent of an individual pollster or an entire polling organization. One leaked email this week indicated that Democrats were thinking about oversampling in some polls to effect the results of those polls. The email didn’t provide sufficient information in my view to establish a conclusion of definite “rigging.” But, even a discussion is troubling.
However, we can look at the details of a poll when those details are made public. For example, let’s look at one aspect of a presidential poll released recently.
Issue #1 – Political Party Oversampling. According to this poll released recently, Clinton leads Trump by a sizable margin. This poll sampled roughly:
- 35% Democrats
- 25% Republicans
- 30% Independents
But, compare that to Gallup’s January 2016 political party identification numbers:
- 29% Democrats
- 26% Republicans
- 42% Independents
Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 3%, not by about 10%. Was this poll fair? Did this poll adequately sample the electorate?
Was the sample selected to achieve a desired outcome (Clinton ahead by a substantial margin)? Or, was the pollster just in a hurry to get the poll done?
Issue #2 – Demographic Group Oversampling. Demographic groups such as Hispanic Americans, Black Americans, Women who are College Educated, etc. often tend to vote in similar ways. For example, Black Americans traditionally vote for Democratic presidential candidates. If one or more demographic groups are oversampled, polls can be dramatically off.
It is therefore essential to utilize a sample that reflects the actual electorate. The underlying model needs to represent the actual electorate in 2016. Incidentally, older models from a previous election such as 2012 will also tend to be off.
What’s Another Big Reason the Polls Might Be Way Off Track This Year?
In my newest book, Great News for America, I talk about the historic and critical nature of the 2016 presidential election. This can impact polling in a major way.
Issue #3 – High Voter Turnout and Political Party Realignments. An historic and critical presidential election means we can expect a record Voter Turnout this year as well as major political party realignments. The political party realignments in turn require fundamentally different underlying models of the electorate and their voting patterns. These factors tend to throw the traditional models underlying polls off track. New up-to-date, accurate models must be used instead.
So far this year, all of my ten predictions for this presidential election are coming true. It is truly an historic and critical presidential election, not seen since 1896 and the election of William McKinley.
What’s My Current Forecast for the Election?
I’m forecasting a Trump popular vote victory by 4.7% and an Electoral College victory by 86 votes. Of course, more October surprises or events can happen that might change the predictions in the next two weeks.
For More Information on This Year’s Presidential Election plus All of My Ten Surprising Predictions
Please read my new book Great News for America. In it, I make ten surprising predictions that will probably come true before, during, and after the 2016 presidential election. I also discuss in Chapters 5 and 6 the political party realignments of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. It’s available in a print edition from Amazon and other book sellers. It’s also available on Kindle and other e-book devices.