We’ve seen a lot of polling angst since 2012 when many organizations, Gallup top among them, were off the mark. There’s been more angst still in the weeks since the British elections were comprehensively called incorrectly, bringing the issues of public opinion polling and election prediction back to prominence. The public and professionals are right to be concerned.
Why the left is strong and the right is sickly when it comes to campaigns Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial election was much closer than anyone, with the possible exception of Terry McAuliffe’s data team, expected. Rather than the 7-point drubbing the poll averages suggested, it came down to about 55,000 votes out of more than 2 million cast, a 2.5 percent margin.