For months Joe Biden has consistently maintained his lead over his political rival, Donald Trump, much like Hillary Clinton in 2016. However, it would be unfair to compare Clinton’s lead in 2016 and Biden’s in 2020 and super-impose the results as well. The differences in the leads are too important to assume that the picture would look like what it did in 2016.
That being said, there were a handful of pollsters in 2016 who accurately predicted a Trump victory when everyone else had Clinton-ised the results. Let's have a look at their stance in 2020.
2016: Robert Cahaly, a Republican strategist of Trafalgar Group, released its polls in 2016 and predicted Trump’s victory. He even pronounced the exact number of electoral votes that both the candidates would score - 306 for Trump and 227 for Hillary. While he got the numbers right, the names were slightly off; nonetheless, he was spot on.
2020: This year, the firm has released a consistent stream of polls that clearly show Trump reining over Biden. While other pollsters have shown a steady Biden lead in some state, Cahaly has shown Trump to be highly competitive.
He has found Trump with 2 to 3 point advantages in North Carolina, Michigan, Arizona, and Florida. This time too, like last time, his predictions have shown him far out of line with the edge. He is very vague about his prediction methodology, making it hard for other pollsters to take him seriously.
2016: Like Cahaly, Mayur disagreed with other pollsters when they predicted Clinton winning the 2016 elections. He said back in 2016, “Clinton is not able to excite the base as much as Obama was able to,” and that “keep in mind the intensity of Democrats is not as high as what Trump has.”
2020: Mayur’s TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence Poll called out Obama victory in 2012, Trump victory in 2016, in 2020, the picture has changed.
According to the latest update, Biden is leading Trump by 4 points, 50.2%-46.2%, in a four-way presidential poll. The lead has increased by 0.8 points since Monday.
2016: University of Southern California/Los Angeles Times poll follows polling methodologies that sets it apart from the traditional pollsters. Using the same methods, they predicted a Trump victory in 2016.
2020: In 2020, Biden leads Trump by double digits - 54 percent to 43 percent in the poll’s daily tracking. The USC poll has barely changed since it started tracking the polls in August.
Factors like Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s murder, coronavirus has kept the voters consistent in their vote since January, said Peter Hart, a veteran Democratic pollster.
Another important factor weighing in is the image of the candidates. 51 percent of voters prefer Biden, while 47 percent don’t. In the case of Trump, some 59 percent of voters view him unfavorably.
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(Edited by : Abhishek Jha)
First Published: IST