Even though Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is ahead in the polls, pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson told “America’s Newsroom” that she is “still uncomfortable saying, ‘Oh this race is done.’”
Anderson, a Fox News contributor, made the comment on Wednesday, two days after the results of a new Emerson poll conducted days after the Republican National Convention was published. The poll revealed Trump is trailing Biden by 2 percentage points, compared to the same poll conducted in July, which showed Trump trailing by four points. Overall, the RealClearPolitics national polling average shows Biden currently ahead of Trump by 7.1 percentage points.
“You’re seeing these polls tighten in the very states where the Trump campaign is betting it all and saying, ‘This was our path last time, this is going to be our path this time,’” Anderson said on Wednesday.
She also noted that one thing to keep in mind is the fact that in 2016 the polls “were wildly overestimating Hillary Clinton’s actual vote share in those states.”
“So, on the one hand, pollsters will say, ‘We’ve gotten things better now, we understand more, we’re getting it more accurate’ and that’s why you’ll see a tighter race,” Anderson added.
She continued, “But certainly if you’re the Biden campaign, while these national numbers look great, you’ve got to make sure you’re not losing ground too much in the very places where you want to put those states away so that you can lock down this election.”
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Host Trace Gallagher asked Anderson if the pollsters have gotten better since 2016 and, if so, how, considering polls showed Clinton leading Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
“One of the big things that the polling industry did after the blowup of 2016 was say, ‘Why did the polls in those Blue Wall states get particularly off?’ And it was because voters who don’t have a college degree were being systematically left out of polls so you were talking to folks who tended to like Hillary Clinton a lot more often than you were talking to folks who liked Donald Trump,” Anderson said.
“Now the polling industry has said ‘We’re better about that, we’re making sure that we’re getting folks of all walks of life in the right proportions,” she said, noting that “what that doesn’t account for is the chance that there are folks who just simply said, ‘I’m not taking polls anymore.’”
“Because both Republicans and Democrats walked away from 2016 feeling really burned there’s still the risk that there are response rate problems where you might have some folks being missed, which is why even though you see Biden doing well and ahead in these polls, I’m still uncomfortable saying, ‘Oh this race is done,’” Anderson explained.
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She said, “There is still a long way to go and there are still lots of ways that Trump can build up his numbers.”