What the pollsters got so wrong with 2020 election

I find it remarkable that polling has been as accurate as it has been — but it got worse this week.

The RealClearPolitics average of recent polls showed Joe Biden with more than 51 percent of the popular vote and Donald Trump with 44 percent.

As this is written, Biden has 50 percent of the tabulated national popular vote, but Donald Trump has 48 percent. So, the 2 percentage-point Biden plurality is far lower than the polls’ 7.2-point Biden plurality.

The results in target states seem to have been off as well. The polls had Biden up 0.9 percent in Florida, far different from Trump’s 3.4 percent victory margin there.

In an opinion climate where mass media and corporate political correctness has many Americans unwilling to state their opinions, there may be something to say for unorthodox methods — and something to say against the more standard polling technique. There is, as my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York has argued, a hidden Trump vote. Most pollsters have not learned how to find it.

Donald Trump ran much better than almost everyone in the press and on Twitter expected.

Democrats don’t seem likely to pick up the Senate majority that they seemed almost assured of gaining as recently as Tuesday morning. In Iowa, Republican incumbent Joni Ernst, having trailed in polls for months, won by a 7 percent margin.

Democrats’ hopes for a Senate majority now rest on Georgia’s two Senate seats. It was uncertain whether incumbent David Perdue would fail to get 50 percent of the vote and therefore, under state law, have to face a runoff with Democrat Jon Ossoff on Jan. 5. There will definitely be a runoff for the state’s other seat between appointed incumbent Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Raphael Warnock.

Whatever the exact result, it seems unlikely that the Senate will go along with the plans backed enthusiastically by leftist Democrats to pack the Supreme Court or to confer statehood on the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Democrats have not done nearly as well as expected in House races. The Cook Political Report predicted that Democrats would increase their 232-seat majority in the House. Instead, they’ve lost multiple seats and have gained only two, both in North Carolina, thanks to a favorable court redistricting decision.

This was also a bad election for the theory that increasing percentages of nonwhites would assure Democrats of a permanent natural majority. But there never was any assurance that the Americans classified (beginning with the 1970 census) as Hispanics would overwhelmingly identify as Democrats, just as black Americans have for the last half-century; the contemporary and historic experiences of these groups are far different.

But Hispanic voters didn’t perform as expected, and neither did black voters. National exit polls showed Trump winning the votes of 32 percent of Latinos and 36 percent of Latino men; it also showed Trump winning 12 percent of black voters and 18 percent of black men.

The gender gap is apparently widening among Latino voters and black voters.

One more result worthy of notice: California’s overwhelmingly Democratic legislature put on the ballot a proposition repealing Proposition 209, passed in 1996, which banned racial discrimination by state and local governments, including in college and university admissions. Some legislators with many Asian constituents complained, but the assumption was that it would pass easily. Not so.

Current returns show this Proposition 16 rejected by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin. It is barely carrying Los Angeles County with 52 percent and the San Francisco Bay area with 53 percent, but is rejected by 64 percent in the rest of the state, where most California voters live.

Evidently something sticks in the craws of most Californians, like most Americans, when they are asked to authorize discriminating against their fellow citizens because of their race.

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