Can we trust Polls? Political Scientists say yes

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas — For months Americans were bombarded with polls on the state of the presidential race, leaving many to question whether polls can be trusted.

“It makes me a little anxious,” said voter Justin Rodriguez “it’s been pretty crazy because you see a bunch of people in trucks with flags like go Trump or Biden.”

For months, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has led President Trump in national polls. For people who have strong beliefs for their candidate, constant changes in polls are nerve-racking.

“Somebody is going to lead, then it drops, then it goes. I think it’s very stressful to be watching,” said Allyson Rodriguez.

She voted early and said the polls did not impact her decision.

“This is the first time I voted so I was really paying attention during this political season,” she said.

When it comes to collecting polls, experts say it is accurate.

“Polling is one of the most scientific aspects of political science. They sample voters across the United states based on different demographic characteristics it tends to be quite accurate,” said University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Political Science professor Clyde Barrow.

Is polling necessary? Polling did predict Hillary Clinton will win the popular vote.

Barrow adds the Electoral College does not represent the popular vote.

“It greatly underrepresents densely populated urban states and over represents sparsely populated rural states. That means it tends to under represent minority voters which is African Americans and others and the net result is you can end up with a president as you did with Donald Trump who wins the Electoral College not the popular vote,” he said.

Pollsters cannot take into effect long lines at stations and voter suppression efforts.

Barrow said there is one thing people need to consider.

“Every poll, no matter how well it’s conducted, has what we call a margin of error and that’s simply because of the way statistical probability works,” he said, “the only polling is the one that matters on Nov. 3.

President Trump’s approval rating has not reached about 50 percent in all his four years as president. If he loses he would the most recent one-term president since George H.W. Bush.

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