What Are Pollster Ratings?

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 general election, different pollsters told very different stories about who would win. Some have managed to get pretty close to the actual result: a 4.5 percentage point gain for Joe Biden. However, some polls showed a landslide win for Biden and others a win for Donald Trump. Why did some pollsters get the result right while others got it so wrong? In this episode of Polling 101, FiveThirtyEight database journalist Dhrumil Mehta (a.k.a. Professor Polls) walks us through updating FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings and explains what makes a good pollster.

[Related: The Death Of Polling Is Greatly Exaggerated]

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