US Election|Polls no longer credible? Experts say it still has reference value

In the U.S. presidential election, Democratic candidate former Vice President Biden leads his opponent, President Donald Trump, by 10 points in national polls conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC. But learning from the last election, polls skewed in swing states, and results not as expected, are the polls still credible or not?

The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Biden’s lead, as seen in the final polls, was similar to that of the 2008 election and former President Barack Obama in the final polls, when Obama won the total vote by 7 percentage points more than his opponent and ended up with 365 electoral votes, significantly more than the 270 electoral votes actually needed, and Biden’s national polling results were also better than those of former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016.

In 2016, most polls showed Hillary ahead of her opponent, but the election was surprisingly won by Trump. According to the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the final polls for the current election were among the most accurate in 80 years because they showed that Hillary’s total vote would be three percentage points more than her opponent’s; in fact, she really did get about two percentage points more than her opponent in the general election. The total number of votes is within a reasonable margin of error.

Some experts pointed out that the main reason for the inaccurate polling is that many polls ignore the support for Trump in Pennsylvania and the Midwest, and the respondents are too biased towards college graduates, ignoring the opinions of working class or voters without college degrees, and the rural voters are also underrepresented. In addition, a large proportion of voters decided to vote in the last week of the election, 13% in Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania; 16% of voters were undecided at the last minute whether to support the two major party candidates or independents.

But the Wall Street Journal pointed out that, compared with the 2016 election, fewer voters are unsure this year and less likely to change their minds at the last minute. And many polls have changed their statistical methods to ensure that voters without a college degree are surveyed, increasing polling accuracy.

The swing-state split of the polls shows that Biden and Trump have about the same level of support, but more supporters leaning toward Biden. As of Monday morning, Biden was leading by one point in Florida, four points in Pennsylvania, five points in Michigan and six points in Wisconsin, according to Real Clear Politics, a website that aggregates statistical polls. In 2016, this website’s polling averages underestimated Trump’s support in those states, and if this year is anything like it, the margin of error will again favor Trump and Biden’s lead in Florida and Wisconsin will disappear, narrowing to less than two percentage points in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Although national polls are difficult to reflect the final results of the electoral vote, but still provides a lot of reference data, such as the Wall Street Journal and NBC’s final polling shows that there is a huge gender gap in the general election, women prefer Biden, men prefer Trump. In addition, voters’ concern about the epidemic is about the same as their concern about the state of the economy.