Do election polls really show us the real situation?

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U.S. will have a new President at the White House next year and some election polls tell us that Republican candidate Donald Trump is a huge favorite to win the race. But with so many months left to go until the real battle, how accurate are those polls?

An article in Washington Post could open your eyes. In recent months, Canada and Britain held elections and they also had many election polls during the campaigns. But, surprisingly or not, the outcome of the elections wasn’t the same with the one commentators predicted.

Yes, they can be wrong sometimes

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party won a substantial majority of seats in the Canadian parliament, even though election polls estimated a parliament where no party has a governing majority. The same thing happened in Great Britain, too.  

On Election Day, David Cameron’s Conservative Party won a clear majority of seats. Election polls predicted that no party will have majority. So why were they wrong? Well, Washington Post found some of the reasons.

One problem is that the media often places far too much trust on polls taken weeks or months in advance of an election. Many citizens change their mind multiple times when it comes to their vote and that could mislead election polls.

Some voters can be easily influenced

A second problem is that the media often fail to appreciate “strategic voting”, meaning that if you know that your favorite party has no chance of winning, you’ll go with your second best option, leaving the stronger parties hang out to dry.

Another hypothesis is that pre-election polls miss the actual result by not determining how votes are allocated across electoral districts. Many national polls are made, but they are useless for this exactly consideration.

Donald Trump is very popular in election polls, meaning…nothing. As you’ve seen, is too early to predict something accurate and we’ll have to wait a few months before we can imagine the businessman at the White House.