Here's Why Polls Are So Bad At Predicting Election Results

December 16, 2015

We talked to polling experts Al Tuchfarber and Cliff Zukin to explain why such polls are so unreliable and to set the record straight on pre-presidential election survey methodologies and results. Tuchfarber is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Cincinnati and was the founder and director of the UC Institute for Policy Research from 1971 to 2004. Zukin is professor of political science and public policy, Eagleton Institute of Politics and Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, Rutgers University, and past president elect and current member of the Executive Council for the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

“These pre-election polls are demonstrably inaccurate right now,” Tuchfarber says. “When you get to the last few days (pre-Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary voting) they are close but not perfect.”

“It is not a great system from the get-go, and the role of polls in setting expectations is one of those things that happens but it is not very healthy,” Zukin adds.

Fast Company, December 16

Recent Posts

Nikpour Receives Office of Disability Services Award

Professor Fereydoun Nikpour was selected for the Office of Disability Services Faculty Honor Roll. The Faculty Honor Roll is a new initiative to recognize instructors who go above and beyond to support the work of the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS staff...

Heldrich Report: NJ’s Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs

New Jersey's Energy-Efficiency Workforce Needs, Infrastructure, and Equity Assessment New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and Executive Order 315 set a goal to reduce fossil fuel usage to 100% clean energy by 2035. The Executive Order also called for...

Shaul Picker Receives 2024 Mortensen-Voorhees Award

Shaul Picker is the 2024 recipient of the Mortensen-Voorhees Award for Achievement in Transportation Studies. This award is granted annually to the highest-achieving student with a concentration in transportation at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Planning and...

NJSPL – Key Insights from Early Offshore Wind Implementation

By Jessica Parineet Offshore wind development is in its early stages in the United States, with just under one gigawatt (GW) of utility scale capacity constructed. State decarbonization goals have catalyzed industry progress thus far, however the Biden administration...

EJB Talks: Political Update with Stuart Shapiro and Amy Cobb

Analyzing Trump's Guilty Verdict and the 2024 Election Outlook Stuart Shapiro welcomes back Amy Cobb MPAP '18 for a political update in the final EJB Talks episode of the spring 2024 season. They discuss the potential consequences of Trump's guilty verdict for...

Upcoming Events

Latest Past Events

Jersey City Alumni Mixer

Zeppelin Hall Biergarten 88 Liberty View Dr, Jersey City

Join us for an alumni mixer in #JerseyCity on Thursday, June 6th at Zeppelin Hall Biergarten. Parking for Zeppelin Hall is FREE - more information can be found here: This […]