Perhaps the only thing to which the press and politicians pay more attention than fundraising numbers is polling results for either their campaign or public policy opinion. So, a fair question to ask in today's politically crowded and noisy arena is can the polls be trusted?
The answer is yes, but the devil is in the details.
Polling itself is a rather straightforward math equation that relies on some less-than-complicated statistical work. It has been proven time and time again to provide reliable results, but not all polls are created equal. Yes, pollsters can get it wrong, but it is normally in how they weight the polls more so than their survey method or sampling.
Put more simply, pollsters can alter the results of a poll to fit what they think turnout demographics in an election will be. Let's take 2016 as a prime example of when pollsters did get it wrong. Almost every poll showed Donald Trump down, and in my home state of New Hampshire many polls showed Trump losing by eight points when, in fact, he went on to lose by barely one point.
So how does this happen? How did so many people get it wrong?