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World US presidential election: can we believe the polls that give Biden a winner?

12:05  18 october  2020
12:05  18 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Biden leading national presidential polls . National polls are a good guide as to how popular a candidate is across the country as a whole, but Can we trust the polls ? media captionCan election polling predict who will become the next US president ? It's easy to dismiss the polls by saying they

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En 2016, les sondages donnaient Clinton gagnante. Sont-ils plus fiables en 2020? © EPA / MAXPPP In 2016, polls named Clinton the winner. Are they more reliable in 2020?

On D-16 of the November 3 election, Democrat Joe Biden leads the Republican president by nine points nationally. But four years ago too, Hillary Clinton was ahead of Donald Trump. Are the US polls more reliable this time?

According to the average polls from the RealClearPolitics site, Joe Biden continues to lead the outgoing Republican president by nine points nationally. But, in the United States, a candidate can get to the White House by winning the majority of the state voters, without winning the popular vote at the national level - like Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton in 2016.

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This year , six states are deemed likely to tip the victory: Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Here too, Joe Biden has the advantage, albeit at times within the margin of error, going from +1.4 points in Florida to +7.2 in Michigan.

Why were the polls wrong in 2016?

In 2016, the polls had correctly captured Hillary Clinton's slight national lead the day before the vote. But they got it wrong in some of the pivotal Midwestern states that won Donald Trump, Chris Jackson of the Ipsos Institute told AFP.

Among the causes, he cites an under-representation in the samples of white people without a college degree, who ultimately turned out to put a Trump ballot in the ballot box.

Have things changed this time?

Most institutes claim to have corrected their methodology to eliminate this blind spot.

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Joe Biden . Democrat. Donald Trump. Electoral -college simulations. Our model works by simulating 20,000 paths for the election , each time varying candidates’ vote shares to account for polling error Our model combines the national prediction with polls and political-economic factors at the state level.

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Key states that were poorly surveyed last time are also the subject of much more and repeated studies.

In addition, pollsters point to great stability: since the spring, Joe Biden has led with an average lead that has never fallen below four points. By comparison, the sawtooth Clinton-Trump curves had crossed twice, illustrating an uncertain race.

Finally, in an extremely polarized country, there are far fewer indecisive people who are likely to change the game at the last moment.

Are there any hidden Donald Trump voters?

The thesis emerged from shy Trumpist voters, who, questioned by pollsters, would rather be silent about their choice as their champion is controversial.

The polls were wrong the last time and they are even more wrong this time, insists Donald Trump.

Trafalgar Group, a Republican-style polling institute that prides itself on a methodology supposed to circumvent this bias, was virtually the only one in 2016 to give Donald Trump a winner in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

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This time, even this pollster gives Joe Biden the advantage in crucial states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Four years ago, the businessman new to politics was a novelty, and what's new is still hard for pollsters to grasp. Today, everyone has made their own opinion about him, there is no longer really any surprise effect around Donald Trump, says Chris Jackson.

What is the margin of error?

The New York Times did the math: Even if the current state-to-state polls were as wrong as they were four years ago, Joe Biden would still win it over.

Mr. Biden is closer, in our average, to winning Texas, a Republican stronghold, which would result in a tidal wave in his favor, than President Trump is to winning in States more traditionally disputed like Pennsylvania or Nevada, wrote recently Nate Cohn, the specialist of the daily newspaper.

Are things done?

Pollsters and analysts are always careful to remember that voting intentions are not a prediction and that there is a margin of error.

Above all, the campaign is a dynamic. The last presidential election was probably played in the home stretch, depending on the news. With 16 days before the poll, the FiveThirtyEight site forecast gave Hillary Clinton an 86% chance of winning, almost like Joe Biden today.

And no election is like the last.

In the United States, voter registration varies greatly, making it particularly difficult to predict turnout. Donald Trump invokes the enthusiastic crowds of his meetings to announce a momentum in his favor, but will this be reflected in the polls? The Democratic camp, little mobilized for Hillary Clinton, unpopular candidate who seemed to have won in advance, will unite behind the most consensual Joe Biden to oust a hated president?

Finally, one unknown remains: the impact of the pandemic.

Advance and postal voting reach historic levels. We don't know what effect that will have, says Chris Jackson, citing factors that are difficult for polls to take into account.

Biden looks very competitive in new Southern swing state polls .
He’s leading or tied with Trump in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, all states in a GOP-leaning region.In this election cycle, political analysts consider Florida and North Carolina to be swing states — and Texas and Georgia to be possible swing states, as well. Considering that Trump won all of them in 2016 — including outstripping Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in Texas by 9 percentage points — the new polling speaks to the president’s vulnerabilities as Election Day swiftly approaches.

usr: 1
This is interesting!