In the primary election, Donald Trump was the king of the polls. In fact, despite his near-domination of all polling in those early months, many in the press (some of us at Latest included), dismissed his chances of winning. Today, Trump is no longer being dismissed, but he’s no longer winning in any credible poll right now.
Enter the site “Long Room” which offers “unbiased” polling based on “the actual voting demographics, precinct by precinct, county by county, and state by state.” Their methodology is confusing. What we can be certain about, however, is that their polling doesn’t remove bias, but is simply a chance to creatively add their own.
The above image is a screengrab of their most recent polls with the “bias” removed. As you can see, their “formula” seems to always result in a better number of Trump and a worse number for Clinton.
Or, as Vox puts it:
These poll numbers are total bullshit. The website’s methodology page claims that the tracker incorporates state data to accurately reflect the demographics of voters. But it seems that, in reality, if a pollster consistently gets results that favor Clinton, it’s deemed more “biased” — and Long Room changes the number further in Trump’s direction.
Of course, this misses the possibility that the great majority of polls aren’t biased at all and Clinton really is far ahead of Trump in the election.
Perhaps the folks at the Long Room really believe they have figured out a new way to make polls more accurate, or perhaps they know that people seek out “sources” that confirm what they already believe so that are trying to get some of that sweet, sweet, Trump traffic. Only they know for sure. Yet, the results the get and the argument they are making is not a new thing.
Dean Chambers ran an “unskewed” poll site in 2012 that thought the sampling of all the major polls was biased in favor of Democrats. “But as it turned out, the pollsters were right — self-identified Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 6% in election exit polls,” Business Insider reported in 2012. There were even reports that the Romney campaign itself thought this way, so they were stunned when they lost in an electoral landslide.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.