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The 2016 US Presidential Elections: What Went Wrong in Pre-Election Polls? Demographics Help to Explain

Jewish Studies Program, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
J 2019, 2(1), 84-101; https://doi.org/10.3390/j2010007
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 25 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for J-Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal)
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PDF [710 KB, uploaded 1 March 2019]

Abstract

This study examined the accuracy of the various forecasting methods of the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The findings revealed a high accuracy in predicting the popular vote. However, this is most suitable in an electoral system which is not divided into constituencies. Instead, due to the Electoral College method used in the US elections, forecasting should focus on predicting the winner in every state separately. Nevertheless, miss-predicted results in only a few states led to false forecasting of the elected president in 2016. The current methods proved less accurate in predicting the vote in states that are less urbanized and with less diverse society regarding race, ethnicity, and religion. The most challenging was predicting the vote of people who are White, Protestant Christians, and highly religious. In order to improve pre-election polls, this study suggests a few changes to the current methods, mainly to adopt the “Cleavage Sampling” method that can better predict the expected turnout of specific social groups, thus leading to higher accuracy of pre-election polling. View Full-Text
Keywords: pre-election polls; 2016 US presidential elections; polling methods; race; ethnicity; religion; urban pre-election polls; 2016 US presidential elections; polling methods; race; ethnicity; religion; urban
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zeedan, R. The 2016 US Presidential Elections: What Went Wrong in Pre-Election Polls? Demographics Help to Explain. J 2019, 2, 84-101.

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