Are polls scientific?

Well, what happens when human complexity foils electoral predictions? From Denyse O’Leary at Salvo:

The Pew polling group admits it was stumped by last November’s U.S. presidential election. The results “came as a surprise to nearly everyone who had been following the national and state election polling.” Most pollsters put Hillary Clinton’s chances of defeating Donald Trump at 70 to 99 percent.

Few will care if fashion critics call the hemlines wrong this season. But election pollsters consider their work both important and scientific: “Polling is an art, but it’s largely a scientific endeavor,” says Michael Link, president and chief executive of the Abt SRBI polling firm in New York City and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.2 That perception may help explain preeminent science journal Nature’s account of scientists being “stunned” and reacting to the results with “fear and disbelief.”

But the scientists’ response raises a question: Was the badly missed prediction a failure of the scientific method, or is opinion polling just not a science anyway?More.

See also: Evo-Elitism:  Civil Liberties link

  • vwVwwVwv

    People tell only the truth when they have nothing to fear,
    so there is actually fear from admitting you vote against
    the left, something you should think about.
    When man fear they kill what they
    fear and the left should
    think about it.

    • Shebel

      Don’t bother me . I am knitting . Pissed OFF cause
      Running out of thread.

  • disqusW6sf

    My opinion- it is an art and a science….like medicine.

  • terrence22

    Out here on the Left Coast, all the “pollsters” said the NDP would win in a LANDSLIDE; they would win most, if not all, ridings. Guess what happened, the NDP,lost 2 seats and the liberals gained 4. So the Libs now have 49 seats, and the Non Democratic Party 34

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Never underestimate the power of Christy Clark’s boobs.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    When I saw the crowds at Trump’s rallies compared to Hillary’s I knew the polls weren’t right.
    And no polling is not a science anymore than alchemy.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    By its parameters, polling is inherently inaccurate. Pollsters are prohibited by law from cold-calling people on their cell phones, and it’s hit and miss if they try to reach their subjects through internet spam.

  • Jaedo Drax

    What’s the sample size? normally you will see a sample size of between 1000 and 2000 respondents. The polling companies never release the information on out of how many calls that was.

    Lets say that you poll 1400 people to get an idea on how the electorate feels right now in Ontario, the population is 13.9 million give or take. Not a very big sample size, and likely self selecting since most of those people have answered polls before.

    Then look at their ranges of error, usually in the +/- 4 range, 19 out of 20 times. that’s a 8% error bar.