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Only two major polls predicted Trump's 2016 win. This time, they're both seeing a landslide.

Do you trust the polls?

Only two major polls predicted Trump's 2016 win. This time, they're both seeing a landslide.
via Phil Roeder / Flickr

Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 election was such a shock to the American system that many are leery of polls that show Joe Biden with a wide margin over the president in 2020.

However, the 2016 polls weren't that far off. Most correctly predicted Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by a few percentage points, but they whiffed on Trump winning the electoral college.

For example, Nate Silver's highly-respected polling model at FiveThirtyEight gave Trump a 29% chance of winning on election day and predicted Clinton would win the popular vote, 48.5% to 44.9%. Clinton wound up getting 48.2% to Trump's 46.1%.

According to FOX News, only two major polls correctly predicted a Trump victory in 2016, the Investor's Business Daily / TechnoMetrica poll (IBD/TIPP) and University of Southern California Dornslife / Los Angeles Times poll.

IDP/TIPP pollster Raghavan Mayur believes he got it right by oversampling Republicans based on his belief that they had greater enthusiasm.

"Day after day, I was weighing down Republicans until the final four or five days [of the race]," Mayur told Fox News. "What I am seeing is ... a good amount of enthusiasm ... so I was going to predict who would show up."

via Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / Flickr

The USC/LA Times poll also used different techniques to gauge voter interest.

"Our poll has differed from traditional political surveys in several respects," Arie Kapteyn and Jill Darling said.

"For five months, we tracked a panel and were able to see the certainty of a single group of voters shift over time," they continued. "The results, updated nightly, were based on a seven-day rolling average. All of our data sets were publicly available for downloading and analysis."

While these two polls got it right by going against popular opinion in 2016, they are completely in line with it for 2020.

As of October 12, the 2020 IBD/TIPP poll has Biden leading Trump, 51.9%-43.4%, in a four-way 2020 election poll of likely voters. Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen has the support of 2.4%, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins 0.8%.

One of the most dramatic findings of the poll is Biden's support among women. According to IBD/TIPP, women favor Biden by a wide 59%-36% margin, the 23-point differential is greater than Trump's 15-point deficit among women in 2016.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The poll had Biden with a 2.7% lead at the beginning of the month but his lead has expanded after Trump's poor debate performance and subsequent contraction of COVID-19.

Similarly, the 2020 USC Dornsife Presidential Election Poll has Biden with a large lead over Trump. As of October 11, Biden leads 54% to 41%.

The poll shows Biden with a consistent lead of at least eight percentage points since late August.

Joe Biden has such a consistent lead across the board that Rasmussen, a conservative-learning poll, has him ahead by 12 points, 52% to 40%.

No matter what the data looks like there are still a lot of people out there who will only believe Biden's chances when they see him win on election day. So, for those people, we say make it happen by getting out there and voting.

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