2010 Campaign: Why Political Polls Sometimes Get It Wrong

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"Alaska is a very tough place to poll," said ABC News political director Amy Walter. "It's difficult to get a handle on Alaska because you don't have many pollsters there."

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Florida Senate Race

So with all the nuances and pitfalls of primary season polling data, is the attention given to the numbers ahead of election day misplaced?

"We all could do a little bit better to lay off the horse race in these surveys," said Langer. "We tend to disregard a really valuable use of pre-election polls which is to try to understand what the voters in these elections care about.... This single-minded focus on who's ahead and who's going to win is less enlightening and often less accurate."

But pollsters themselves don't necessarily agree.

"It's kind of like saying, 'Do we eat too much high fat ice cream?' or 'Do we watch too much TV?'" said Peter Brown with the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Yeah, we probably do, and we keep doing it. They certainly provide information about a political race and they're a staple in American politics."

VIDEO: Washington Posts Chris Cillizza
Washington Post's Chris Cillizza on 'Top Line'

ABC News' Huma Khan contributed to this report.
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