Don’t just blame pollsters for shock election results


“It is nothing new for opinion polls not to reflect actual voting outcomes. However, people forget that such polls are not predictions, but snapshots of sentiment at the time they are undertaken.”

– Sharif Nashashibi

Alex Poucher

Don’t just blame pollsters for shock election results

Opinion polls are snapshots of sentiment at a given time, not a foolproof prediction.

Click to view original posting on the Al Jazeera Facebook page.


  1. The reason it was such a shock is because of the way dialogue in this country has been going.

    If people think they’ll be ostracized for admitting who they support, they won’t say. They won’t answer the polls, you won’t see them on TV, you won’t hear it from them at work or at the family reunion, but when they step into that voting booth and there’s nobody watching, they tell the truth.

    It’s the same as the “Shy Tory” effect that the UK has become familiar with over the years If you’re going to leap out and call people racists and misogynists and full of hate for disagreeing with you, then they’re going to keep it to themselves and use their vote as their voice.

  2. The one thing you can’t compensate for with the standard format for polls is the level of conviction each individual has for their chosen candidate.
    Put simply, if you had a 100% voter turnout, polls would be far more accurate. But some people, while they’d give their preferred vote to someone who arrives to their door without a problem, they wouldn’t always translate that directly into going out of their way to vote.

  3. Wrong, AlJaz… the pollsters present their information as prediction–‘if the election were held today’ etc. Indeed, if they made no claim about being able to predict an outcome, then they would be out of business.

  4. She or her speech writers should be blamed and take the responsibility for even saying that the people of the rural communities are deplorable. What kind of person who wants votes to fullfill dreams of making history and breaking the glass ceiling by being the first female President of the USA say these things? If this is the popular opinion of the rural communities and people of the communities as it has always been, then welcome to reality, that just because you are elite, you are deplorable yourself!

  5. Those polls are typically based on popular vote, and they were right because Clinton did win the popular vote.

    The political upset wasn’t so much that Clinton lost as that someone with zero experience in public office beat the only truly qualified non-incumbent candidate in US history. It was a match of extremes in that sense alone.

  6. Again and again elected President Donald J. Trump has to wave out all the criminals in the US government nation wide in congress and in the house of representatives and the entire criminal corrupt persons in US authorities and has to bring them to justice regardless without any exemption include Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    Please Donald J. Trump I hope you will fulfil your promises investigate about the Clinton family and criminals around Barack Obama and lock them up for all there national and international crimes.

    Washington DC and New York is full of criminals who are trying to rule the world in a criminal way on the back of the US citizen in very close co-operation with the criminals from the Wall Street, include the criminals from the leading US media Press and TV they have to be behind bars as well, include the journalists and the owners of those press and TV Media stations.

  7. Congratulations elected President of America. MR.TRUMP
    Lessons learned
    1. People dont care about what media says .
    2. All the polls taken before elections are useless
    3. People really wanted a change.
    4. Doesn’t care about Obama’s thoughts
    5. Fake media aint working no more

  8. What good are polls anyway ? They don’t count towards a final result, unless some people are stupid enough to be swayed by public opinion (no citation required). It’s like baking chicken and having a bite when it’s half cooked to see how it’s going to taste.


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