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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Biden up in the polls? Weren't they wrong in 2016?

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Biden up in the polls? Weren't they wrong in 2016?
Biden up in the polls? Weren't they wrong in 2016?

[NFA] Opinion poll experts say there are good reasons to trust this year's polls more than those of 2016.

Reuters polling editor Chris Kahn presents a few of them.

Lisa Bernhard produced this report.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden rallied supporters on Thursday in the closely contested state of Florida, putting on full display their contrasting approaches to the final days of the campaign.

Trump staged an outdoor rally in Tampa – the crowd tightly packed like at other recent rallies, with many not wearing masks despite public health recommendations.

Biden, in contrast, held a drive-in rally north of Miami with attendees in cars, followed by a planned drive-in event in Tampa.

With its 29 electoral votes, Florida is a major prize in next Tuesday’s election and is considered a must-win-again state for Trump.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released this week showed Trump had pulled into a virtual tie with Biden in Florida, just a week after the former vice president held a narrow lead there.

In national polls and some other battleground states Biden has a bigger advantage.

But some Democrats worry about the accuracy of polls – noting how in 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton consistently led Trump in state and national polls before he won the White House.

But Reuters polling editor Chris Kahn says that in 2016 some 20% of voters remained undecided until the final weeks of the campaign.

“2020 is much different.

The number of undecided voters in 2020 is less than half than it was four years ago.

I think 90 percent of Trump supporters and 90 percent of Biden supporters made up their minds weeks and weeks ago.” Also, many pollsters, including Reuters/Ipsos, tweaked their methods this time around to better account for a demographic group that largely favors Trump: whites without a college degree.

More than 80 million Americans have already cast ballots in the election, according to a tally on Thursday from the U.S. Elections Project at the University of Florida, setting the stage for the highest participation rate in over a century.


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