News Analysis Nov 6, 2020 1:57 PM EST

How did pollsters get the election so wrong—again?

The mainstream media has been biased towards progressive politics and policies for years now and everyone seems to know it—but them.

How did pollsters get the election so wrong—again?
Nicole Russell Texas, US
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Though the results of this year's Presidential election remain undecided as of this writing, one thing is clear: Nearly every professional pollster and much of the mainstream media was wrong about their prediction.

For months now, they predicted a blue wave, a blow out of epic proportions both in the race for President and the US House and Senate. Nate Silver, Editor-in-Chief of 538, one of the most influential statisticians in America, predicted Biden would win handedly and that his chances were 69 in 100, compared to Trump's measly 31 to 100. By Friday morning, it's unclear who will win and if Biden does win, it will be narrow.

Not only is it clear, regardless of who wins, that Biden didn't sweep the nation, but Trump won in places everyone thought he would lose. In Texas, where I live, Trump kept his solid lead—Biden didn't even gain a percentage point—and he even won in Zapata County, a typically-blue area that voted for Clinton in 2016 and Beto O'Rourke, the Democrat candidate for Senate, in 2018.

Columnist Salena Zito wrote that Trump flipped a steely blue county in Ohio that "hasn't gone Republican in 50 years." While the race outcome remains in limbo in several key states, Trump is tied or nearly tied in Nevada, Wisconsin, and Michigan—states Biden was supposed to have won without effort.

Some pollsters have admitted they didn't see a close race coming and others have pointed out the history of pollsters being wrong.

It's hard to tell who is more upset, pollsters, the media, or Democrats. "Today was an abject disaster for Democrats in Washington," Jake Sherman wrote in Politico's Playbook.

While it's true that Democrats are likely furious, it's worth lingering over the stunning capabilities for the media and pollsters to be not just wrong, but incredibly wrong, for the second Presidential election in a row.

Are pollsters only seeking out people who would agree with their wish that a Democrat win? Are people who are polled telling the truth? My friend Bethany Mandel asserts in her post-election column that people don't feel like they can be honest, if they are they are smeared, so they lie.

Pollsters aside, the mainstream media bears significant responsibility in perpetuating what was clearly now, faulty numbers or data aside, a desire for a Democrat like Biden to win, rather than reflecting what the American people think about who they want to win.

The mainstream media has been biased towards progressive politics and policies for years now and everyone seems to know it—but them. This is why they seem both unable to accurately report reality, and yet are simultaneously stunned when reality fails to reflect what they have reported. Whether or not people vote differently based on who they think will win would be difficult to prove, but if that was even remotely the case, one could argue that dozens of polls and media hits predicting Biden will win by a landslide, affected the turnout.

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