The Polls Weren’t Wrong


By Charlie Ovink & Vanesa Jorda


There is no doubt, it has been an historic election. From the stunned UN crowds at the climate conference in Marrakech to the pages of Sina Weibo, around the world the reaction has been one of shock and disbelief. With near unanimity in the polls as recently as the day before the vote, the gap between the predicted Clinton win and the final Trump victory is looming large over the entire statistical modelling field. Combine it with the predictions of a rejection to Brexit and an acceptance of the Colombian referendum, and 2016 is looking like a very bad year for the fortune tellers. How did the polls, deployed by very smart people, and analysed in some very smart places, get it all so wrong? The short answer is that they didn’t. There are two main problems understanding what the polls tell us, one is simple, one unfortunately, is less so.  Continue reading “The Polls Weren’t Wrong”