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What really happened with polling in the 2016 election?

(American Association for Public Opinon Research Photos)

When President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, the question of “How did the polls miss this?” immediately arose.

A myriad of instant explanations were offered, but they had a single thing in common: Each was based primarily on speculation and on very limited data. While many of the theories were plausible, none was based on actual data and analysis that had been subjected to empirical scrutiny.

The American Association for Public Opinon Research is the primary professional organization for professional survey researchers (disclaimer: I’ve been a member for 40 years).

They convened a blue-ribbon commission of leading researchers to examine the performance of the polls in the 2016 election. Our guest in the Think Tank this week is Dr. Courtney Kennedy, who chaired that commission.

During a six-month analysis, the group examined five specific theories of what happened and subjected each to a rigorous analysis with actual data. Their conclusions, which differ substantially from most prevalent media speculation, are based on the most definitive analysis yet available.

Much of what you have read in published speculation is unsupported by data.

Want to know what the actual evidence supports?  Tune in to the Think Tank this Sunday from 5-6 p.m. or 9-10 p.m.