Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016

One hundred and seventy-four days remain until the United States’ midterm elections (421 until the next presidential election, but who’s counting) — which means there’s still time to “evolve” how polling is conducted. The 2016 presidential election wasn’t polling’s shining moment, with many post-mortems pointing to opinion polls misleading election forecasters and underestimating now-President Trump’s support. It didn’t help that some polls were tied to news organizations that don’t really have the resources anymore to support this work — at least doing this work well. There’s no perfect poll aside from (maybe) the ballot itself, but the polling system — both conducted by the media and reported on in the media — has faced critics since long before November 8, 2016. These issues contributed to the Associated Press’ and Fox News’ departure from the Election Day polling data shared by the major networks last year. But now the wire Continue reading "Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016"

New Poll: Americans Less Likely to Buy Products Endorsed by Trump

Donald Trump in front of TV camera (Shutterstock) Now that Donald Trump has become President Trump, NBC News has partnered with Simmons Research to try to figure out just what kind of effect Trump’s endorsement would have on a given product. Simmons conducted a survey using the following questions:
  • Would you be more likely to use a product endorsed by President Trump?
  • Would you be less likely to use a product endorsed by President Trump?
  • Would you actively boycott a product endorsed by President Trump?
The results did not reflect well on the president. A full 49% responded in the affirmative to “less likely,” 29% did so for the “boycott” option, and just 18% said “yes” to the “more likely” question. “We know Trump is a very polarizing figure, but these data suggest that the people who don’t like Trump feel much more strongly about it than the people who do like him,” said Steven Millman Continue reading "New Poll: Americans Less Likely to Buy Products Endorsed by Trump"

What The Failure of Election Predictions Could Mean for Media Trust and Data Journalism

The election marathon finally ended, but the scandals and disputes we have seen will probably linger for a while in the public consciousness. One specific problem will be the public credibility of data journalism and trust in the media: The pre-election conspiracies regarding the polls could be reinforced with what many considered to be an across-the-board prediction failure. Whereas many polling post-mortems debated the issues that led to this prediction failure, the focus on the implications for public perceptions still deserves attention, especially given the persistence of Donald Trump’s “rigged polls” claim even a month after the election. Moreover, some features of current data journalism in 2016 could contribute to this public cynicism and mistrust of the media. Before the election, we witnessed unprecedented levels of partisan framing over factual evidence on the performance of the candidates. Especially, the claims a rigged election, the misinterpretation of scientific methodological decisions
Photo by Cory M. Grenier on Flickr and reused here with Creative Commons license.
Photo by Dan Howard and used under Creative Commons license
Continue reading "What The Failure of Election Predictions Could Mean for Media Trust and Data Journalism"

Megyn Kelly: Pollsters Could Be ‘Dead Wrong,’ Polls ‘Weren’t Worth The Paper They Were Written On’

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-22-52-pmFox News host Megyn Kelly gave a harsh assessment of the performance of pre-election polling during the network’s Election Night coverage, saying if early trends held up, it would mean the effective end to the polling industry. Fellow Fox host Tucker Carlson called the extremely close race a rebuke to prognosticators everywhere, who saw the race as a blowout of Donald Trump. “This not what we expected at all,” he said. Kelly agreed. “If these states wind up going Trump, these swing states we’re still waiting on, a significant number of them, you tell me whether the polling industry is effectively done, they are over,” she said. “Because they did not predict that at all!”
“If there’s a Trump victory tonight, the pollsters are dead wrong,” Kelly said. “Their predictions weren’t worth the paper they were printed on.” “We are talking about the Continue reading "Megyn Kelly: Pollsters Could Be ‘Dead Wrong,’ Polls ‘Weren’t Worth The Paper They Were Written On’"

Poll: 69% of Trump Supporters Think That When Clinton Wins, ‘It Will Be Because It Was Rigged’

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 11.12.57 AMTake a careful note of my headline. I balanced out a few options, namely, using the word “If” in place of “When” so as to read:
Poll: 69% of Trump Supporters Think That If Clinton Wins, ‘It Will Be Because It Was Rigged’
However, it is essentially — in the opinion of this writer — a foregone conclusion that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will win the November general election. Before we continue with the absurd findings of the Public Policy Polling data out today that suggests a staggering 69% of Trump faithful think the election will be “rigged,” let’s quickly establish why I’m so confident Trumpty Dumpty will lose yuge: You don’t vote for the President, Trump fans. Remember your social studies classes? Well, at some point you learned that it is the electoral college that decides who wins the White House, not you and your precious Continue reading "Poll: 69% of Trump Supporters Think That When Clinton Wins, ‘It Will Be Because It Was Rigged’"

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on maintaining the show’s presence in a “24/7 digital journalism” world

Chuck Todd doesn’t like buzzwords. In the half hour that we spoke, the Meet the Press host qualified his use of “millennial,” “old/legacy/traditional media,” and “media narrative.” Other common phrases that pepper digital journalism-speak seemed to catch in his throat. There was one term, however, that he used liberally: “platform neutral.” Media organizations frantically chasing a millennial audience, he said, shouldn’t just panic, and should stay platform neutral. Donald Trump, he hypothesized, is a truly platform-neutral candidate, whose media ubiquity has made him more difficult for rivals to combat. Todd, who got his start in political reporting at The Hotline, took over as host of the nearly 70-year-old Sunday morning public affairs show in 2014, replacing David Gregory and inheriting declining ratings. Last September, Todd became the host of a new daily weekday version of Meet the Press — a show the network hoped it would Continue reading "Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on maintaining the show’s presence in a “24/7 digital journalism” world"

Rubio on Polls Showing Him Down in Florida: ‘Those Are Not Accurate Numbers’

mrRepublican presidential candidate Marco Rubio dismissed concerns about his chances in Florida Wednesday morning, saying on Fox News that polling showing him down by double digits simply wasn’t accurate. Host Martha McCallum pointed out that some polls have Rubio down by as much as 19 points in Florida. “Can you guarantee you will win Florida?” she asked. “What is your path to making up lost territory?”
“I don’t believe it is lost territory,” Rubio responded. “Florida is a unique place to poll for a bunch of different reasons, including a significant number of Republican voters in South Florida who get the majority of their information in Spanish. Cuban-American Republicans are over 10% of the whole electorate.” “Look, Florida, those are not accurate numbers you have seen,” he said. “We have our own numbers, I Continue reading "Rubio on Polls Showing Him Down in Florida: ‘Those Are Not Accurate Numbers’"