Polls: Will We Never Learn?

The results of last night’s Iowa caucuses were yet another stake in the heart of the polling business. After epic disasters in the 2014 Senate races, the 2015 leadership races in Britain and Israel, the industry covered itself in shame yet again. The final average of the polls collected by Real Clear Politics said Ted Cruz would do far worse than he did—4 points worse—and Donald Trump would do better than he did by 4. Marco Rubio overperformed the polls by 6 full points. Most important, every one of the 13 final polls in Iowa had Trump winning, when of course Cruz prevailed by a comfortable margin. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders outdid his polls by 6 points, and Hillary Clinton outdid hers by 2.