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Politics & Government

Trump victory shows polling habits die hard

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Voter turnout is better when we're electing a new president. The best gubernatorial turnout rate in Michigan was 60% in 1962 (based on data starting in 1948).

Many Americans were stunned and blindsided by Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

That’s largely because months and months of polls pointed to a defeat of our new president-elect.

Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined us today to talk about those polls.

“Polling has a lot of problems. It’s just not able to model the electorate successfully, and that seems to be especially true in Michigan,” Gorchow said. “It just flat out failed to model the African-American turnout correctly, it failed to model the rural turnout correctly."

Gorchow urged us all to take polls with a bigger grain of salt in the future.

“As reporters, we’re trained to be skeptical, you know, trust but verify everything. But … the one thing we tend to just sort of accept on faith is polls,” he said.

“Hopefully this is the latest wake-up call, and hopefully it’s a big wake-up call that we have got to just use this as one piece of the puzzle and not get so obsessed with it.”

Listen to our conversation above for more.

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