Epic miscalls and landslides unforeseen: The exceptional catalog of polling failure

Wrong.Underwood Archives/Getty ImagesW. Joseph Campbell, American University School of CommunicationThe question looms in nearly every U.S. presidential election, even in this year’s race: Could the polls be wrong? If they are, they likely will err in unique fashion. The history of election polling says as much.That history tells of no greater polling surprise than what happened in 1948, when President Harry Truman defied the polls, the pundits and the press to defeat Thomas E. Dewey, his heavily favored Republican foe.Pollsters were certain Truman had no chance. One of them, Elmo Roper, was s…

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