Prior to the 2020 United States elections, polls suggested former Vice President Joe Biden would defeat President Donald Trump in a landslide, that Democrats would gain control of the Senate and add seats to their House majority. Though Joe Biden won, polls proved inaccurate at every level, to a degree that raised wide questions from voters, politicians and pundits regarding polling’s methodology and value. As David A. Graham writes in The Atlantic, this election is a disaster for the polling industry. But, he suggests, the real disaster is that without reliable polls there are few methods other than elections to determine what Americans – or people anywhere – think about crucial issues.
About the Author
David A. Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic, previously edited its politics section and reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and The National.