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Post-election, a polling conundrum

U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage after his victory speech at McCormick Place Nov. 6, 2012 in Chicago, Ill.

Today -- or rather, last night -- was a big day for pollsters across the country and that includes Gallup. We talk to Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup, for our Attitude Check segment.

Early predictions from Gallup had suggested Mitt Romney would win the election. In its last poll before votes were tallied, Gallup predicted the popular vote would be tight, but that Romney would win by one point. Newport points out that some of the people  who predicted Obama would win, including Nate Silver, don't do their own polling. They aggregate polls from many organizations, and Newport says this could have long-term effects on the polling industry that could result in fewer firms conducting their own polls.

Asked what he thought was most surprising about the election, Newport said turnout among non-white voters was one. But perhaps the biggest issue (though not necessarily a surprise) was that the candidate who was seen as being most trusted on the economy didn't win. Romney wasn't able to translate his success as a businessman into an election win.

About the author

Frank Newport, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief at Gallup and appears regularly on Marketplace.

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