Are Polls Losing Their Power?
While most are focused on the candidates and the issues, though, a major issue next year could be the accuracy of the myriad of polls the presidential contest (not to mention congressional and state races) will produce.
The greatest fear is that as land-line telephones have disappeared, the response rate continues to drop. Many believe this phenomenon is behind the inaccurate polls from recent nationwide elections in Great Britain and Israel.
According to Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight, pollsters are increasingly fearful that this development is harming their reputations.
“Some of the recent failures may be a harbinger that the response rate threat is finally materializing,” Chris Borick of Muhlenberg College told FiveThirtyEight. “However, I think the relatively older electorate and marginally higher response rates in that group may continue to buffer more dramatic declines in accuracy.”
Whether polls will be able to keep up with the changing technology will be perhaps the most underrated yet important storyline of Election 2016.