The Pollcast: Were the U.S. polls right, wrong - or somewhere in-between?

The results of the U.S. election came as a surprise to many. Most polls indicated Hillary Clinton was the favourite right up until voting day. Were the polls wrong, or was it wrong to assume they could make the call in such a close race? Joining host Éric Grenier to discuss is David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.

Host Éric Grenier is joined by David Coletto of Abacus Data

Supporters react to election results during Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (The Associated Press / Frank Franklin II)

The CBC Pollcast, hosted by CBC poll analyst Éric Grenier, explores the world of electoral politics, political polls and the trends they reveal.

The results of the U.S. presidential vote came as a surprise to many. Almost every national poll gave Hillary Clinton a lead over Donald Trump and the polls also suggested she held the lead in enough states to win the election.

Instead, though Trump lost the popular vote, he won the electoral college and will be America's next president.

As mail-in votes continue to be counted in Democratic-friendly states, Clinton's edge over Trump in the popular vote will likely grow — and the national error in the polls will shrink. Still, at the state-level the error was significant enough to up-end expectations.

What did the polls miss? Was there a problem with how polls — and the uncertainty intrinsic to the science — were interpreted? And where does the media and the polling industry go from here?

Joining podcast host Éric Grenier on this week's episode of The Pollcast is pollster David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.

The results of the U.S. election came as a surprise. The polls indicated that Hillary Clinton was the favourite. Were the polls wrong, or was it wrong to assume they could make the call in such a close race? 26:47

Listen to the full discussion above — or subscribe to the CBC Pollcast and listen to past episodes.

Follow Éric Grenier and David Coletto on Twitter.


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