Report: ‘Impossible’ to Pinpoint Why 2020 Polls Were the Least Accurate in Decades

Presidential polls surveying November’s election were the least accurate in 40 years and state polls were the worst in the past 20, a report released Monday shows.

While the report from the American Association for Public Opinion Research outlines how far off the polls were, it was unable to directly attribute what led to the inaccuracy.

“We could rule some things out, but it’s hard to prove beyond a certainty what happened,” said Josh Clinton, a Vanderbilt University professor and chair of the 19-member election task force, Politico reported. “Based on what we know about polling, what we know about politics, we have some good prime suspects as to what may be going on.”

One of the main “prime suspects,” the report notes, is a lack of response to polls in the first place, echoing other pollsters who have tried to diagnose why they were so off. Other reports have attributed polls’ growing inaccuracy to Republicans’ unwillingness to participate in them, exacerbated by former President Donald Trump repeatedly labeling any surveys he did not like as “fake.”

Presidential polls in the final two weeks before the election were off by about 4.5 points, the report said, while state polls were off by just over five. While President Joe Biden’s support was only overestimated by about a point, Trump’s was underestimated by over three. (Read more from “Report: ‘Impossible’ to Pinpoint Why 2020 Polls Were the Least Accurate in Decades” HERE)

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