Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz had an interesting prediction recently: If President Donald Trump wins in 2020, it might be the “end of public polling” in politics.
Recalling how many pollsters got it wrong in the 2016 presidential election, with most predicting a Hillary Clinton victory, Luntz told Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin during a podcast interview, “If polling gets it wrong again, then the industry, at least for politics, is done.”
Exclusive: GOP Pollster Frank Luntz Says If Trump Wins, The Political Polling Industry is 'Done' https://t.co/CiPdNko8Wl
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) October 22, 2020
Frank Luntz: ‘You Can Get It Wrong Once’ But Not Twice
“You can get it wrong once,” Luntz added. “And it was the exit polling they got wrong — and none of the networks want to acknowledge it.”
“I put out a tweet on election night of 2016 that said Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president,” Luntz said.
“I was really blunt about it because exit polling had never been more than four percent off.”
Luntz said that while most pollsters got the popular vote for Hillary Clinton right, state by state numbers is where many got it wrong.
Forecast of 2020 election winner:
This tweet is informational, not an endorsement.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 22, 2020
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Luntz: Biden A Stronger Candidate Poll-Wise Than Hillary
“But if they get it wrong a second time and Trump does win, I think it’s going to be very much the end of public polling in a political situation,” he said.
Luntz seemed to agree that 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been a stronger candidate poll-wise than Clinton was four years ago.
He also believes some undecided voters can change their minds in the remaining weeks and days.
“Four years ago, three weeks out from the election, Clinton was up +12 in Michigan and +7 points in both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the @RealClearNews Average.
Trump won all those states, with final-week polls showing Clinton’s advantage fading.” https://t.co/4zb6GHGv4Q
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) October 19, 2020
“There are so few undecideds left and so few people that acknowledge they could switch who they support, that Trump would have to win 100 percent of them to get back in this race,” Luntz said.
Will ‘Shy’ Trump Voters Make A Big Difference?
He also said that Team Trump is counting on “shy” Trump voters.
“Now, I believe that there is a so-called shy Trump voter, just not nearly as much as the Trump people want to believe,” Luntz insisted.
Many other political figures, from Rush Limbaugh to Glenn Beck, have made the same argument about “shy” Trump supporters – especially in the age of cancel culture.
Luntz has been a pollster for decades stretching all the way back to Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America” in 1994.
He’s literally had his eye on the polls most of his professional life.
But if President Trump wins, Frank Luntz is right – there might not be any more polls that voters will take seriously for some time.
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