Tortoise wrote: ↑Tue May 19, 2020 3:33 pmDidn’t the polls going into the 2016 election suggest that Trump was going to lose, yet he won, suggesting that a lot of poll participants may have been embarrassed or just unwilling to openly admit that they planned to vote for Trump?
If so, what does that imply about these polls for the 2020 election?
Very little. The 2016 polls generally had Clinton up by 1-2% nationally. And they were more or less accurate. She won the popular vote. The polls also had Hillary up by very narrow margins in most of the swing states. They turned out to be wrong and Trump won most of them, by very narrow margins. The takeaway is not that the polls were wrong. Trump's upset victories were almost all within the margin of error for the respective polls. The take away is that in a really close election, turn out matters. Trump's people turned out, and Clinton's by and large did not. The margin of error varies a bit and I do factor in that Trump supporters are not always accurately reflected in some polls, so I build in another 1% when I look at these numbers. But generally any poll that is from a reputable source and that has a margin of 5% or higher, is almost certainly outside the statistical margin of error. I colored Georgia purple because a 1% margin for Biden in a traditionally conservative state is obviously too close to call that state. And barring some kind of Trump meltdown, I fully expect him to take Georgia in November. But the fact that multiple polls are suggesting a reliably Republican state like Georgia is within the margin of error, does not bode well for team Trump. Even more worrisome is that a lot of states that Trump took on 2016, and he will need in November are polling for Biden by numbers that are way outside the margin of error. The election is still 5+ months away and that is a long while. But as I noted in an earlier comment, if the election were today, with these numbers, I'd borrow money from the mob to bet on a Biden victory.
FWIW though I think Biden has benefited from his enforced isolation. Trump has the misfortune of not being able to stay off the stage and keeping his mouth shut. (Not that I think he would in any event.) As POTUS he is our leader, for good or ill, in a time of national emergency. And with his endless flubs, mistakes, and outright lies, being put under the proverbial spotlight, Biden just by not being Trump, is starting to look pretty good. But I do expect the polls to tighten between now and November.