After a tough 2016, many pollsters haven’t changed anything

After a tough 2016, many pollsters haven’t changed anything

[Ed. – Paging George Santyana! George Santyana!]

A year after polls broadly overestimated Hillary Clinton’s strength in the decisive Rust Belt battleground states, top pollsters and analysts across the survey industry have reached a broad near-consensus on many of the causes of error in the 2016 presidential election.

But so far, public pollsters — typically run by news outlets and colleges — have not changed much about their approach. Few if any of the public pollsters that conducted surveys ahead of Tuesday’s elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey appear to have adopted significant methodological changes intended to better represent the rural, less educated white voters who pollsters believe were underrepresented in pre-election surveys.

On the other hand, private pollsters — typically employed by campaigns and parties — have already begun to make changes. This is especially true among Democrats stunned by Donald J. Trump’s upset victory, but Republicans are making changes as well. The adjustments are already playing out in Virginia, where pollsters will have one of their first chances to put postelection shifts to the test.

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