Commentary: Why Pollsters Got it Wrong

by Long Hwa-shu

The stunning upset scored by Donald Trump amply underlined that voting is a private matter no matter what voters may have told pollsters.

In voting, truth cannot be fore-told

Voting, like sex, is personal and private. Nobody can do it for you. That is why no one is allowed to accompany you to the curtained cubicle to watch or tell who and what to vote. Thus, it is entirely possible for a voter surveyed or sampled by a pollster or a pundit to tell him or her one thing and vote just the opposite.

May be in some cases, a voter would give a pollster an answer just to get rid of the caller treating them like pesky flies.

Apparently, this has happened a lot during this presidential election. That is why so many polls had got it wrong by predicting a victory for Hillary Clinton. Trump was right when he claimed that many pollsters were biased against him.

Finally, did any of the pollsters bother to go out to the country, to the rural area to talk to people or did they just do their thing nice and easy in their ivory towers?

Pollsters and editorialists can only have themselves to blame. They thought they could assume, predict, prejudge with impunity, with an air of authority and presumed innocence. Now they are red-faced, humiliated and blushing in shame.

After all, polling is a black art that needs to be drastically refined or it will go the way of the dinosaurs.

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