A Field Guide to Polling: Election 2020 Edition

beSpacific 2019-11-20

Pew Research Center -“While survey research in the United States is a year-round undertaking, the public’s focus on polling is never more intense than during the run-up to a presidential election. This essay is our attempt as survey methodologists and social science researchers to assess the state of the craft in 2019. “Can I trust the polls?” is among the most common questions we get at Pew Research Center. And, maybe more to the point, “Which polls can I trust?” There’s a reasonably straightforward answer to the first question. Rigorously conducted surveys are still trustworthy, as long as you apply a dose of discrimination and are realistic about what polls can and can’t do. But the answer to the second question – how to sort the “good” polls from the “bad” – is considerably trickier in this age of polling industry change and innovation. Before we dive into how best to attempt that sorting, let’s take a broader look at the issue of trust in polls…” [h/t Pete Weiss]