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Public Affairs

Polling failures are like Tolstoy's unhappy families; they're all unhappy in their own way

Alexander Andrews/Unsplash

W. Joseph Campbell, a professor in the School of Communication at American University and the author of Lost in a Gallup: Polling Failure in U.S. Presidential Elections, joined us last week to talk about polling - particularly election polling.

When the polls go wrong, as they did in 2016, he says, the problem is failure isn't replicable.

Uh, but wait a minute - aren't we living through the same polling failure - call it 2016 Redux - that we did four years ago?

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