The Trouble with Polling in 2016 that may (or may not) occur again in 2020

There was a New York times article published the other day headlined Four Problems With 2016 Trump Polling That Could Play Out Again in 2020. The four problems were identified as:

  1. “Weighting” by education (or not giving enough weight to uneducated voters)
  2. “Shy” Trump voters (or voters who did not want to admit in 2016 that they voted for Trump).
  3. Counting who’s voting (or undercounting voters who traditionally don’t vote)
  4. Many late-deciding voters (or late deciders mostly breaking for Trump).

For various reasons, I don’t think this is going to be as much of a problem in 2020. Here are my reasons:

  1. By now it’s well-known that the less educated the voter, the more likely they are to vote for Trump. The pollsters can now account for this is they extrapolate from their smaller samples to predict for the population at large.
  2. Voters are no longer “shy” about admitting that they voted for or support President Trump. The “FU” President and his “FU” administration have won a wide swath of admirers who clearly love the fact that the President and his administration have given their collective middle finger to liberals and progressives. I think far fewer respondents will have trouble admitting that they love the Trumpelthinskin this time around.
  3. All signs point to there being a gigantic voter turnout for this upcoming election. Some of that may depend on who the Democrats nominate, but there should be a huge swell of anybody-but-Trump voters coming out. And Trump’s base is likely to come out for him as well. Pollsters should assume that there will be lots of people going to the polls.
  4. If you don’t have an opinion about President Trump by now, you must have been lobotomized sometime in the last few years. That was not necessarily the case, in 2016, where there were a lot of people in the “give him a chance” category. Those people should have an opinion by now as to whether he deserves another chance.

One thing is clear. If you’re a progressive and you know anyone in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, better urge them to get out to vote. Those are the states that are going to decide the 2020 election. And Trump is competitive in all of them.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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