Lazy pollsters using outdated methods got it wrong in Florida again, political experts say

Can we trust polls in the future?
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Posted at 5:14 PM, Nov 04, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — The prediction polls for Florida voters didn't show up for former Vice President Joe Biden. Numerous polls days out from the election got it wrong.

In the days leading up to the 2020 Election, polls showed former Vice President Joe Biden with leads in crucial battleground states.

A New York Times article published on Nov. 1 said, "Joseph R. Biden Jr. leads President Trump in Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and, by a wide margin, in Wisconsin, according to a Times/Siena College poll."

According to a CNN Florida Poll of Polls on Nov. 2, Biden led Trump by an average of three points. A Monmouth University poll from Oct. 24 to Oct. 28 gave Biden a 5 point advantage.


ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska asked our political expert, Dr. Susan MacManus, "Are polls pretty much worthless now?"

"Their credibility is, to put it mildly at rock bottom level," MacManus said. A lot of pollsters want to take the easy way out of the data that's readily available. They don't want to do their homework cause it drives up cost."

MacManus says the Florida of 2016 isn't the same as 2020. Every year hundreds of thousands of people move to the Sunshine state. And our state is ethnically diverse from region to region. And that is something MacManus says is hard to capture in polling. MacManus also noted there is a Trump effect pollsters are failing to capture as well.

"There are a lot of Trump supporters that would never admit to any pollster nor will they talk to them that they were going to vote for him and why is that because support for him has been demonized a lot by the media and other outlets social media," MacManus said.

You also have to take into account some people lie to pollsters or avoid interaction with pollsters altogether.

"You have, in a way, these polls that are somewhat biased by people who are willing to talk to a pollster," MacManus said.

ABC Action News political consultant Ron Pierce said that people won't believe polls until the science of polling improves.

"They've been so wrong," Ron Pierce said. "I think the average voter probably does not trust the polls, and they have every right to do so. Hopefully, the people that are doing these polls are learning, and I think they have started to learn from 2016 to 2020."