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Articles on presidential polling

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Pollsters predicted a much higher vote for Joe Biden, including in Florida, where workers at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office in Largo process voters’ ballots on Nov. 3. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

In its troubled hour, polling could use an irreverent figure to reset expectations

Pollster Bud Roper once said of his field that "a good deal more than half is art and ... less than half is science." After the 2020 polls got a lot wrong, is it time for more candor from pollsters?
Watching the presidential election returns on election night in retirement community of The Villages, Florida. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

An embarrassing failure for election pollsters

Polls predicted a 'blue wave' that didn't materialize.
Supporters on election night 2016 at a Hillary Clinton party, when it became clear poll-based forecasts had been off target. Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Why Americans are so enamored with election polls

Polling is an imperfect attempt at providing insight and explanation. But the public's desire for insight and explanation about elections never ends, so polls endure despite their flaws and failures.

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