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What the Polls Got Wrong -- And Why

11.08.2012 | By: Texas Wesleyan University

In the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential Election, polls became a bigger issue than ever before.

Whether it was Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEightBlog making a state-by-state call of the election, or Gallup getting it wrong by several points, polling has moved to center stage in a completely new way.

Trevor Morris, professor of political science at Texas Wesleyan, says the real question about polling is not just if its wrong or right, but how the poll was conducted.

"Some organizations, for example, did not call cell phones," Morris said. "They are basically eliminating 30 or 35 percent of the population."

An inaccurate sample makes for inaccurate results, Morris said. And the future belongs to those who get it right.

Also, swing state polling will also take center stage in future elections. While general polls might show a tight race, they don't always reflect the reality of what it takes to win in the electoral college.

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