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Pollsters got Clinton’s numbers right, and missed Trump’s by a mile

If you looked at Hillary Clinton’s share of the popular vote—about 47.1% as of this writing—and compared it to what pollsters had predicted, you’d think they’d had a pretty good night. A back-of-the-napkin Fast Company calculation shows they expected her to get about 47.13%. Not bad, right? Um, no. That’s because, according to that same … Continue reading “Pollsters got Clinton’s numbers right, and missed Trump’s by a mile”

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If you looked at Hillary Clinton’s share of the popular vote—about 47.1% as of this writing—and compared it to what pollsters had predicted, you’d think they’d had a pretty good night. A back-of-the-napkin Fast Company calculation shows they expected her to get about 47.13%. Not bad, right? Um, no.

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That’s because, according to that same Fast Company math, they thought Trump would come in at about 42.88%, and right now, he’s at 48.3% and on the verge of winning the presidency. That’s a huge, monumental miss that accounts for him potentially scoring victories in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Florida that could put him over the top. Why did it happen? It’ll take political scientists a while to figure it out. Let’s just say, though, that there are very few political professionals or pollsters congratulating themselves for their actual prognostications right now.

About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications

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