GOP Pollster Says Polls Are “Done” After Huge Whiff on 2020 Elections

Longtime pollster Frank Luntz said that election polls are “done” after big misses in 2020 and 2016, The Hill reports.

“The political polling profession is done,” Luntz told Axios as the results came in. “It is devastating for my industry.”

Polls predicted victories by Joe Biden in Florida, which he quickly lost on Tuesday, and even suggested he could win states like Texas, where Trump pulled away.

The polls also predicted double-digit margins in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, which appear to have come down to less than one percentage point.

The polls also badly whiffed predicting a Democratic rout in the Senate races as Democratic hopes fade after falling in key states like South Carolina, North Carolina, and Iowa.

Polls similarly predicted that House Democrats would expand their majority but they lost about a half-dozen seats despite holding on to the chamber.

“Public will have no faith”:

Luntz’s comments echoed his prediction to Fox News ahead of the election, where he noted that back-to-back polling misses in 2016 and 2020 would devastate the industry.

"Well, I hate to acknowledge it, because that's my industry — at least partially — but the public will have no faith. No confidence. Right now, the biggest issue is the trust deficit. And pollsters did not do a good job in 2016. So if Donald Trump surprises people, if Joe Biden had a 5- or 6-point lead, my profession is done," he said a the time.

Lessons learned:

The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan wrote that the top takeaway from the election is that we should “never again put as much stock in public opinion polls, and those who interpret them, as we’ve grown accustomed to doing.”

“Polling seems to be irrevocably broken, or at least our understanding of how seriously to take it is,” she added.


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