The 2016 US presidential election, won by Donald Trump, had marked a Berezina among pollsters, who saw Hillary Clinton in the White House;
without reproducing such a debacle, the pollsters announced in 2020 a victory for the camp of Joe Biden clearly more important than reality.
Five institutes made their mea culpa on Tuesday April 13th.
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Each of us felt that the election would be much better for the Democrats than what happened.
So where is the error?
“, Ask in a joint statement the firms ALG Research, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, GBAO Strategies, Global Strategy Group and Normington Petts.
These five polling institutes play a key role in the democratic sphere, advising electoral strategies at local as well as national level.
Contrary to their predictions, the Democrats for example did not strengthen their majority in the House of Representatives in 2020.
And, even if Joe Biden largely won the popular vote on November 3, the specifics of the American indirect ballot mean that he returned to the White House thanks to a difference of only 43,000 votes cast in the states of Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona.
After several months of soul searching, the five polls concluded that their main mistake had been to overestimate the expected turnout of Democrats, compared to their opponents.
This, in particular among the voters of the popular classes among whom one expects to see more abstentionists.
An error already made by pollsters four years ago.
This error in the turnout rate meant that, at least in some areas, we again underestimated turnout among rural and white non-educated voters
," admit the five firms about this category of
voters who clearly lean towards the Republican side.
Another path on which pollsters have strayed: understanding the group of voters who refuse to respond to opinion polls.
There is a radical difference between the people we contacted and the others.
This problem seems to have been amplified with Trump in the running,
”analyzes the group of pollsters.
In other words, in an ultra-polarized country, it seems that the white working class pro-Trump represented a far greater part than imagined of the Americans who rejected the idea of being consulted before the poll.
They nevertheless voted.