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Because the results of the 2020 race prove without a shadow of a doubt that the pollsters screwed up royally yet again, some pollsters — though not all — are finally beginning to display a little bit of very late-stage humility.
Pollsters like Frank Luntz, who issued a stunning apology to President Donald Trump’s campaign pollster Thursday over his own way-off polling predictions.
“Frankly, and I want to do this publicly, I owe an apology to John McLaughlin, who is Donald Trump’s pollster,” he said on Fox News’ “Outnumbered.”
“He reported privately that Trump was leading in all these swing states roughly by a point, maybe two points. And in the end, even if Biden wins those states, John was closer than any of these polls that we see in The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN,” Luntz continued.
“And in the end, we have to believe in accountability in the polling profession, in the political profession, even in yours, in the media profession. The public has the right to accountability, and we have the responsibility to deliver it.”
Listen starting from the 2:10 mark below:
Luntz also delivered an apology on Twitter, but it was quickly ratioed by critics who alleged he was just “trying to save his job” given his claim a week earlier that “my profession is done” if the president outperforms polling predictions.
I owe an apology to @JMcLghln, who had the key Rust Belt states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin) going for Trump by 1% margins or less.
No matter which way those states ultimately go, John’s numbers were closer than the semi-blowout margins from mainstream pollsters.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) November 4, 2020
He’s trying to save his job. Too late
— Reaganette (@Ezinger44) November 5, 2020
@FrankLuntz We knew you were wrong. If I remember correctly, you advised us – on several occasions- if you were wrong this time, it was time to find another profession.
— John Jasper – Two Flags Estate (@jbjasper) November 5, 2020
He’s starting to sweat how he’s going to afford his toupees when he’s no longer employed.
— Janice 🍟🐶🏀🏈 (@jannyfayray) November 5, 2020
Either gross incompetence or intentional deception
Any other employee would be promptly terminated
— Vote Your Conscience (@PoliticNonsense) November 4, 2020
I will never, and I mean never, trust the polling or focus group industry again. You guys are hacks better suited to the metereology field. At least weather forecasters are occasionally right.
— Son of Mourning (@xx_mourning_son) November 4, 2020
You should never work again. Wrong in 2016, wrong again.
— Ben Murphy (@gomurphy) November 4, 2020
— IrritatedWoman (Parler) (@irritatedwoman) November 5, 2020
In fairness to Luntz, at least he chose to practice humility. The same may not be said of Nate Silver, an allegedly renowned statistician and pollster who also got it wrong.
“If they’re coming after FiveThirtyEight, then the answer is f–k you, we did a good job!” he reportedly loudly declared Wednesday when questioned during FiveThirtyEight’s daily podcast about the “pitchforks” coming out for pollsters.
FiveThirtyEight 20 hours ago: Biden wins Florida 69 in 100
NYT now: Trump > 95% chance of winning Florida pic.twitter.com/2o1nrO2ku9
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) November 4, 2020
“The liberal FiveThirtyEight election-analysis outfit in July mused on Twitter : “Could Democrats pick up 13 seats in the Senate?”—an estimate that now looks to be off by a mere 12. The accompanying video envisioned Democrats presiding over a “filibuster-proof majority.'” https://t.co/m2Qg6EPLPg
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 6, 2020
The fact of the matter is that the pollsters, including Silver, got it wrong again — so much so that Luntz told Axios on Wednesday that “the political polling profession is done.”
This prompted Axios to issue some advice to journalists and pollsters alike.
“Have some humility about what you think you know about America. The media and Twitter don’t understand America, writ large. Republicans resonate in ways — and with depth and breadth — neither understand,” the outlet wrote.
“Even if Biden winds up winning, the early returns suggest durable, enthusiastic support for Trump from big swaths of the country.”
In fact, the president enjoyed a notable boost in support from blacks, Hispanics, and even Muslims:
According to the AP VoteCast (which seems quite robust), about one-third of Muslims cast a ballot for Donald Trump.
Did we see this coming and do we know who these Muslims are? Sort of…
— Youssef Chouhoud (@_abuelbanat) November 5, 2020
“Team Trump and Republicans nationwide made unprecedented inroads with black and Hispanic voters. Nationally, preliminary numbers indicated that 26 percent of Trump’s voting share came from nonwhite voters — the highest percentage for a GOP presidential candidate since 1960,” the New York Post notes.
“In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the heartland of Cuban America, Trump turned a 30-plus-point Hillary Clinton romp in 2016 into a narrow single-digit Joe Biden win. Texas’ Starr County, overwhelmingly Mexican American and positioned in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, barely delivered for the Democrats. Biden’s Hispanic support in other key swing states, like Ohio and Georgia, tailed off from Clinton’s 2016 benchmarks.”
Florida was one of the states that Nate “f–k you, we did a good job” Silver’s FiveThirtyEight had predicted would fall to Biden …
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