Plenty of voters — especially Democrats — have anxiety about poll numbers after Trump’s win in 2016.
Sure, Joe Biden has a healthy, steady lead in the polls. But could the polls be wrong?
It’s a burning question as Sunday morning brought a slew of fresh, and near final, polls before Election Day. The Washington Post reported “Biden holding a slight lead over President Trump in Pennsylvania and the two candidates in a virtual dead heat in Florida” — two utterly critical swing states. The New York Times showed Biden holding “a clear advantage over President Trump across four of the most important presidential swing states,” including both Pennsylvania and Florida. The Wall Street Journal said Biden led Trump nationally by about 10 percentage points, in line with his margin for months.
For many Democrats who suffer PTSD from 2016 wondering if these numbers could be off, the answer is an anxiety-soaked yes. Analysts say the polls are better this year, after making changes from last time. But here are two main ways the polls could go awry.
Pollsters could fail in the Midwest again
In 2016 pollsters had a Midwest problem. Despite correctly forecasting a popular vote win for Clinton, most polls showed a solid blue advantage in upper-midwest states like Michigan and Wisconsin. When those states gave their electoral votes to Trump, Hillary Clinton’s hopes came crashing down.