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Discussion » Questions » Politics » Pre-election polling seems to have accurately predicted HRC's support but underestimated Trump's? Why do think this was so?

Pre-election polling seems to have accurately predicted HRC's support but underestimated Trump's? Why do think this was so?

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Posted - November 9, 2016


  • I have no idea but it was horrifying to see :(
      November 9, 2016 3:35 PM MST

  • 4009
    Thanks for your answer. It will be interesting to see what the explanations for the pre-election Trump undercount end up being.
      November 9, 2016 3:38 PM MST

  • 12685
    I have been pacing back and forth all day. 

    You are not going to like my take on this.  But I know this was fixed somehow.  I know there are all kinds of red-necks and no-brains that made this dangerously close.  ....and Michael Moore DID make a ton of sense after I got my head out of the sand and saw what he, in fact, did say in total.   He said he warned us.  He said Trump was going to win because of these nutbag cases who were all for this bum winning.

    But... the writing was NOT on the wall, so to speak.  This should not have happened.  This man was NOT popular.  I don't care how many jackasses were behind him.  He nauseated people of conscience and mind.  I thought, for once, that the country was actually sort-of uniting against this common enemy.  We had former Republican candidates switching parties for godsakes. 

    We had a nation that was starting to open it's eyes more and more as each week progressed.  He did not look good on any channel but Fox News.  And NOW THIS?

    I think Trump did not sweat this at all.  I think he knew how to do a deal.  THE BIG DEAL that landed him in this position.   Dirty politics is what made him rich in the first place.

    I don't know what he did.  I hate to sound like the Usuals.  But I will say this.  It will show.  Cracks will open and we will see the light.  He is not a smart man, he is just a crafty one. 
      November 9, 2016 3:40 PM MST

  • 4009
    @Shar -- I know you are stunned and dumbfounded. I feel some of your pain.

    But I don't think "the fix was in." If the fix was really in, would the Fixers have made the election as close as it was, with HRC (apparently) winning the popular vote, and several key swing states going to Trump by tiny margins (e.g. he won Michigan by 0.27% of the cast ballots)?

    Of course, when you delve into conspiracy theory, you can always claim the Fixers made it that close to hide the fact they did the fixing. But if the Fixers have that kind of power, we may as well give up. Our democracy truly is dead and The Fixers run everything. It's possible, but I am not willing to go with that inference without a great deal more evidence.

    I think, instead, we saw a "clever" man who understood that media coverage of elections strongly resembles reality television, and knew that his anti-Establishment rhetoric (no matter how nonsensical or how little he actually believed it) would play well in that format. He ran against the prototypical Washington Insider in an election where resentment against Washington Insiders (at least in the abstract) was at a fever pitch. And he won by the tiniest of margins. Change any small factor (e.g. another revelation like the Billy Bush video) and the election very easily could have flipped.

    But I think there is something more fundamental in the polling misrepresenting Trump's support, such that Trump's victory seemed so unlikely before the election.
      November 9, 2016 4:05 PM MST

  • 12685
    OS I do not know.  I know something is rotten in the state of the US.  It sure LOOKED copacetic.  I mean every state that had Trump in the lead was plausible.    You are making total sense.  I know.  

    I'm still not convinced something untoward happened.  Despite the numbers looking so REAL. I also am in the awkward position of doing exactly what the Trump supporters would have done had he lost.  I am accusing the election of being rigged.    I cannot believe he had this strong of a ground support at the end.   I wish I was right because your belief will be much harder to fix and endure and live amongst.  We are surrounded by brain-dead zombies.  And there is no excusing them. 

    Well, it will make a good horror movie if I am wrong.    Right now the horror is more like a reality TV show. 

      November 9, 2016 4:23 PM MST

  • 692
    Sharonna consider the states where any sort of rigging for trump would be without any value. Did trump get less than 35% in any state including those which were known to be dark blue before voting started? That is the real support for trump even in a state where the trump voters know there is no hope with casting a ballot. If there is no lower than that and usually much higher in a dark blue state then the support is real.
      November 9, 2016 6:27 PM MST

  • 25

    My bank account was overdrawn for three of the last four weeks and while I had to go hungry a few times, at least my rent check cleared. The idea of being hit with a tax penalty because I miscalculated my income for the health insurance subsidy terrifies me. I can't afford basic expenses as it is.

    Now, I did not vote for Secretary Clinton or sex-offender Trump as voting for the lesser ebil is what got us here in the first place, but I don't fault other Americans for voting for whoever they thought would give them the best hope of supporting themselves and staying in their homes. Being really hungry for seven hours straight because you are at work and your card was declined and you cannot even buy a $0.99 snack tends to put things in perspective. I now struggle with anxiety every time I run my card at the grocery store. It is hard to worry about the big picture when you are worried about survival.

    Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Americans have been electing government insiders like Hillary Clinton for decades and they get poorer and poorer while Clinton and her friends make each other richer and richer. Some of Trump's supporters are racists, but a lot of others are hungry and did the most sane thing they could do. They voted for someone different.
      November 9, 2016 10:24 PM MST

  • 1230
    Let's see . . .

    The usual leftist suspects kept calling Trump supporters stupid, that "basket of "deplorables"thing for starters. The polling questions were couched like "Are you still stupid enough to want to vote for Trump?". Who wants to give an honest opinion in the face of that kind of animosity?

    Going to be fun to see how these pollster clowns and the media justifies their malfeasance though. Rational, hard-working people are sick and tired of that kind of bull, and of a "media" that no longer "reports" but speaks in commentary while looking down their collective noses at the people that live in "fly-over" country.  Yep, it's truly a mystery. This post was edited by Salt and Red Pepper at November 9, 2016 9:26 PM MST
      November 9, 2016 3:55 PM MST

  • I make no comment on the Trump supporters as such here.. although the behaviour and hate fueled words, treating allegations like they were proven fact while ignoring that their own candidate had the same accusations leveled against him.. but of Trump himself.. no one had to be leftist or libtard or anything else.. any sane reasoning person would be offended by almost everything he said. The man is a poorly educated, offensive, the list goes on boar.
      November 9, 2016 4:06 PM MST

  • 12685
    Most rational people were not stupid enough to ever vote for Trump. That is why this whole thing stinks to high heaven.  He embarrassed himself over and over each week.  His own party despised him.  Bernie was told to drop out because he could mess up the votes and couldn't win himself, despite some very convincing debating that proved he had a great background to do the job more than efficiently .  Bernie cannot win but TRUMP CAN WIN?  Hillary can't win but Trump can win?  Are we surrounded by a sea of idiots?  Or did Trump do some shady ass deal some place somewhere in the dark of night.  There is nothing that guy wouldn't stoop to.  Don't waste my time telling me about Hillary.  She called stupid people deplorable.  OH NO.  She didn't accuse them of rape and murder.  She didn't tell them they had blood coming down their leg when they didn't agree with her.  She didn't embarrass herself and the nation every day for months.

    And we have YOU Salt seriously mouthing this nonsense about rational people.  You cannot be serious.  AND YET?  YOU ARE. 

    I continue to be mystified by your "logic".

    This post was edited by Shar to the Rona at November 9, 2016 4:10 PM MST
      November 9, 2016 4:07 PM MST

  • 4009
    @Salty Herbert -- As usual, you present no evidence to support your "TEH STOOPID EBIL LIBRUHL COMMIE TRAITORS IS STUPID...AND EBIL!" rants.

    Nate Silver became a Disney/ESPN darling on the basis of his ACCURATE predictions about the 2012 elections. He had ZERO rational incentive to introduce some bias into his analyses just so he could "make fun of the deplorables" as you claim.

    So, yes, it remains a bit of a mystery as to why pollsters largely missed Trump support by as wide a margin as they did. Unlike you, they are going to do some careful examination of the evidence and I expect we'll have some explanations forthcoming. Evidence suggests you'll simply continue to wallow in your hatred and paranoia.
      November 9, 2016 4:11 PM MST

  • 1230
    And as usual you do a song and dance one again to try to "justify" why your "wisdom" failed so miserably.
      November 9, 2016 11:08 PM MST

  • 12685
      November 9, 2016 4:30 PM MST

  • 4009
    @Sharonna -- Krugman brings up many valid points. The media's complicity with its Reality Show Spectacle coverage of the election is a form of "fixing." But people, at least nominally, have the ability to consider these factors.

    If, as our friend ITPro did in another thread, people fixated on whatever racism was demonstrated by HRC's supporters while ignoring the orders-of-magnitude greater racism/sexism/xenophobia demonstrated by Trump's supporters and Trump's rhetoric, that's not a fix. That's just people being (Special Kind of) Stupid.

    It is sad to think Americans are (to a great extent) as bigoted and ignorant as the evidence suggests they are. But there is a LOT more evidence for that stupidity than there is for some kind of Illuminati fix.
      November 9, 2016 4:53 PM MST

  • 12685
    I wasn't going for the Illuminati thang.   Honest.  It is just that "something" beyond just normal idiocy is afoot.  .... Or you are right.  
      November 9, 2016 5:57 PM MST

  • 1024
    I think pollsters largely rejected the notion that democrats would actually vote for him and the vilification of him and his supporters was so that they were either embarrassed to admit they were voting for him or just didn't want to, thus creating a perfect storm / polling nightmare. This post was edited by ForkNdaRoad at November 10, 2016 6:53 AM MST
      November 9, 2016 5:08 PM MST

  • 692
    Here is my theory with four factors.
    1 is that polling excludes some voters who are not considered likely and this is done by excluding those who did not vote last time rather than asking if they are likely to vote. Both choices have drawbacks and this time the drawback was people who normally feel no hope or ambition to vote did feel that with trump running and they did go and vote for trump.
    2 is that the relentless media bullying made people less likely to say they would vote for trump but more likely to vote for trump. The social bullying did the same as no one wanted to express support for trump only to be attacked by hillary supporters or to express when social media is full of anti trump spam.
    3 is polls were deliberately made wrong by oversampling some groups to reinforce the idea that trump had no chance
    4 is that this election also showed a battle of media and the mainstream tv and papers lost. The internet and what is called alternative news is not alternative any longer it is the new mainstream and it is followed by more viewers and readers than traditional tv or paper publications. This is not known even by the people who rely on the alternative news so they are shy to say that they watch because of social bullying again where others will say only idiots and kooks listen to alternative news and CNN and such are trustworthy.
      November 9, 2016 6:18 PM MST

  • 2945
    Methink many voted for Trump who did not say they were going to.
      November 9, 2016 7:14 PM MST

  • 25
    Old School,

    A lot of Trump voters did not admit their support to pollsters as they did not want to be called racist or misogynist or ebil or any of the other things that people like you and me have been calling them.

    Hope this helps.
      November 9, 2016 10:29 PM MST

  • 1024
    I think this probably accurate for many...
      November 10, 2016 6:55 AM MST