Even before the results of the 2020 presidential race are made official, it is clear that the majority of pollsters have once again gotten proven wildly inaccurate in their predictions across several states.
As one glaring example, Florida was cited as up for grabs — if not likely to lean toward Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — by a number of leading firms. Trafalgar Group, however, stood virtually alone in its correct forecast of President Donald Trump’s stunning win on Election Night, as reported by National Review‘s Rich Lowry.
“The way we figured”
Lowry noted in a series of tweets on Tuesday evening that he spoke directly with the firm’s chief pollster, Robert Cahaly, about the state victory that took many pundits by surprise.
Cahaly explained that the election results in Florida were “kind of unfolding the way we figured right now.”
With 96% of the state’s precincts reporting on Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the president led Biden by nearly 400,000 votes — roughly 3.4 percentage points — and Florida’s 29 electoral votes were being called for the incumbent.
That substantial win led to Trafalgar emerging as one of a select few organizations to even come close to making an accurate prediction.
The final batch of statewide polls compiled by RealClearPolitics showed Biden up by nearly one point. Meanwhile, Trafalgar showed the president ahead by two points.
A pattern of incorrect calls
Scores of other established polling firms predicted a win for Biden, but some were particularly wrong in their forecast. Emerson, Monmouth, and Quinnipiac, for example, each reported results putting Biden ahead with a five or six-point lead.
Things were even worse for FiveThirtyEight’s polling tracker, which did not include Trafalgar and instead featured firms predicting a Biden win by as much as eight points or more.
Furthermore, the left-leaning news site Slate tracked all the polls in the swing state and published a piece casting Trafalgar’s credibility into doubt by questioning its polling methodology.
As of this writing, the results of the election are still unconfirmed. Even if Biden ultimately emerges victorious, however, the early returns have shown that countless pollsters have gotten it wrong again.
Many predicted a landslide victory for the former vice president that has clearly not panned out as expected. With the possible exception of Trafalgar, these so-called experts might benefit from taking a serious self-examination of their methods and possible biases.