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As I See It

Should we trust the polls this time?

Scott Robert Shaw



Four years ago at this time, the polls suggested Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. According to the polling numbers, Clinton would carry Wisconsin on her way to collecting 270 electoral votes. Neither of those things happened. Now, in 2020, polls show Joe Biden leading Donald Trump, in some cases by double digits. Day after day, polls show Biden leading Trump, with Biden’s support appearing to be growing. Should we trust the polls this time? If they got it so wrong in 2016, why should we believe their findings in 2020? We shouldn’t. An apparent lead in the polls should not be considered a slam dunk. Things have changed in polling practices since 2016, and their methodology has improved. But that is no guarantee. Four years ago, there were more undecided voters than today, and it seems many of those undecided voters moved to Trump in the final days before the election. Many Bernie Sanders supporters, still stinging their candidate wasn’t the nominee, chose to sit out the election. It would seem the current polling is consistent, but after 2016, we should know that no matter what the polls say, anything can happen on election day.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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    October 14, 2020 at 5:48 am

    Now is not the time to become complacent. Get out and cast your vote. A no vote is a vote for trump.

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    October 14, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Yeah, trust the polls. We all enjoyed the videos of democ-rats crying on election night in 2016. I foresee 2020 election night as being spectacular!

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