University of Virginia Center of Politics forecasting guru and professor Larry Sabato thinks pollsters need to “completely redesign what they do” after he predicted Democratic nominee Joe Biden would defeat President Trump in a landslide.
“I’m delighted that I’m not a pollster so I can criticize them freely. Look, they’re going to have to completely redesign what they do,” Sabato said Wednesday on CNBC.
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Sabato’s “Crystal Ball” predicted Biden would thump President Trump by finishing with 321 electoral votes compared to only 217 for Trump. As of Thursday morning, the election was still too close to call but Sabato had seen enough to determine that secret Trump supporters do exist.
“Yes, there was a hidden Trump vote,” Sabato said. “They’ve been denying it forever. People in my field have been denying it forever. I think there’s clear proof in the two elections 2016 and 2020.”
Sabato said pollsters need to figure out a way to get hidden Trump supporters to participate in polls going forward.
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“Or maybe we go back to reading tea leaves. I love tea and when you look at those leaves, a lot appears to you that can be very revealing,” Sabato said. “I think it’s useful to refer to [polls] and to look at them but don’t be driven by them. There is something about concrete numbers that human beings love, you know it takes an imprecise art and turns it into a science, except politics has never been and will never be a science.”
Pollsters have been widely condemned as the 2020 election has not been decided, as many precited Biden would wipe the floor with Trump.
“This poll obsession is mainly about the news organizations’ branding and their intent to generate hopeful narratives and less about really helping the electorate understand the political landscape,” DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall told Fox News.
The Hill media reporter Joe Concha also said on Thursday that many polls ended up overstating the support for Biden because they ignored the “shy” Trump voters.
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“I saw a poll, I think it was about a month or two ago, and that many people are afraid to share their political affiliations with anybody, even if it is just a random person over the phone because they are afraid of some sort of consequences around that and we’ve seen cancel culture actually take these people out,” Concha told “Fox & Friends.”
“Why does this happen? Is it to create an illusion that perhaps that Joe Biden had this huge lead and why bother going out? It’s almost like a psychological suppression of votes in these situations to say, Ok, look Joe Biden is up 17 in Wisconsin, why even bother? Right? These are the consequences as a result.”
Fox News’ Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.