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Why Did the Pre-Election Polls Get It So Wrong Again?

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Nate Cohn, an expert on polling for The New York Times, knows full well that the predictions for the 2016 presidential election were bad.

This year, he says, they were even worse.

The difference between the final polls and the actual results was just as wide, but pollsters don’t have the same excuses this time around, he tells us.

So, what happened?

Nate talks us through a few of his theories — including that some Republicans, particularly Trump supporters, are less likely to pick up the phone and answer a survey — and considers whether, after two flawed performances, polling should be ditched.


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Nate Cohn, a domestic correspondent for The Upshot at The New York Times, speaks to us about the polls and breaks down the election results.

ImageElection returns at a bar in Philadelphia on Friday. A new set of faulty predictions has fueled questions about whether the polling industry can survive yet another crisis of confidence.
Credit…Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

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Nate Cohn contributed reporting.

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