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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Real reason polls got it wrong

Danielle Kurtzleben of WAMU -- American University Radio -- became the eleventieth NPR person to try to explain why the polls were wrong.

I will give the correct answer later, but first, her reasons.

1. The national polls weren't that off — they did predict more people would vote for Clinton. That's what happened.

2. Some people just don't answer the phone.

3. Did people lie to pollsters?

4. It's hard to capture enthusiasm (or lack thereof).

Now readers know better than this.

To say the polls which predict a big win for her "weren't that off" is daffy. Trump carried 30 states. That's more than any president has carried since Clinton took 31 states in 1996.

The polls were wrong.

People not answering the phone is not an excuse. That has always been a problem.

People lie to pollsters? She admitted that is far-fetched.

Capturing enthusiasm is pretty easy. I find asking a question is the best way to get someone to answer a question.

So her excuses are wrong.

Instead of blaming the polled, blame the pollsters. After all, it was their model that was in error. Pollsters erred this year in favor of the First Woman Elected President because that was who they were rooting for. Don't like the result? Well, then weight it more in favor of Hillary. A point here, a point there, and presto! You have a three-point error.



"Trump the Press" skewers media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. I use my deadliest weapon: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.


  1. I think that the media did a darned good job of gaslighting a lot of their opposition (the American people) to the point that they were almost able to carry her across the finish line. If the race ahd been run on an even playing field the polls would have been off even farther than they are now. And the media people know this. They just want to keep on gaslighting us. I couldn't comment on the Bezos post before, but I'm hoping that breaking up monopolies comes back into vogue. Thinking Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Comcast. The list could go on and on.
    Get the troops in order and attack endlessly.

  2. Kurtzleben means "short life" in German. A fitting name? - Elric

  3. Most people recognize bs when they hear it and the Clinton campaign was full of it as was the "media." God bless the new media....aka bloggers.

  4. Remember, landlines have dropped bu a third in the last 4 years.

    1. We can only hope and pray that the same thing happens with bustiers.

  5. The pollsters made up the numbers. They didn't "err," they lied.

  6. I'd have lied to the pollsters, but I don't pick up on unknown nmmbers.

  7. My opinion is that Trump also won the popular vote. You have to take into account that at least 2-3% of the Hillary votes were fraudulent.

  8. They could of bought me beer and I would have told them why Trump would scream in. But what is better than a beer is watching all these so called journalists squirm from being called out for their ignorance and getting busted with their conniving and biased deals with the DNC.A pox on all of them. It has however been the best I TOLD YOU SO of my life!

  9. Polling CAN NOT work. Statistical analysis is only valid for relatively stable systems with many actual outcomes to validate the model.

    Nate Silver made his bones predicting baseball games. You have 30 teams playing the same 13 players in the same ballparks and they play 2,340 games a year. Lots of outcomes to test the predictions. Even then there is an inherent 6% error rate according to the 538 website.

    Elections are a whole 'nother animal. Each election has a different electorate - every year 2.6 million eligible voters die and 2.6 million come of voting age. The candidates are different. The issues are different. The world is different. And you only have one result.

    The polls are a SWAG - a Scientific Wild Ass Guess.