Why You Can’t Rely on Election Forecasts  

written by Zeynep Tufekci. added about 1 year ago by @icyflame ARCHIVES

america government election polling forecasts    

In 2020, it’s even harder to rely on polls or previous elections: On top of all the existing problems with surveys in an age of cellphones, push polls and mistrust, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. What do the unprecedented early voting numbers mean when polls don’t necessarily stop polling those who already voted? How do the early forecasts that run for many months before the election, and so are even more uncertain, affect those who vote early? Will the elderly, at great risk from the pandemic, avoid voting? How will voter suppression play out? Will Republicans end up flocking to the polls on Election Day? These are big unknowns that add great uncertainty to models, especially given the winner-takes-all setup in the Electoral College, where winning a state by as little as one-fourth of 1 percent can deliver all its electoral votes.

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