'I buy that COVID was a factor in polls underestimating' GOP: Nate Silver

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver discusses the accuracy of polls in the 2020 election on "This Week."
2:23 | 11/22/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for 'I buy that COVID was a factor in polls underestimating' GOP: Nate Silver
So we have trump with a 10% shot, and Biden with a 90% shot. 10% things happen fairly often, and at the same time, you could have a polling error like 2016, and instead, Biden would win Pennsylvania by a point or two, Arizona by a point. There are, like, lots of upside cases for Biden, and there are also cases where he wins in a squeaker. There you see Nate silver just before election day, and that polling error possibility he raised did pop up again this year. The margin of battleground states is farther than we have seen in polls, underestimating president trump's support again. Here's what Nate says that means. With all that went on in this election, including president trump's refusal to concede so far, I'm not sure the performance of the polling is the most important story, and polls did predict the right winner in all B states in the presidential race. Still, the margins were pretty far off in a lot of places and as the founder of fivethirtyeight, I certainly do have some thoughts. Again, it wasn't a total disaster. Polls did call every state but Florida and North Carolina correctly in the presidential race, and everywhere but north Carolina and Maine correctly in the senate. Still, overall, the polls were mediocre at best with numbers off by three or four points in the presidential race and more like five for races in congress. The pr were oftebiggest in the midwest. That includes states like Iowa or especially Wisconsin where Joe Biden ended up winning by less than 1%, and a far cry from eight points in the final days of the campaign. One of these might be the living pattern, from the pandemic. That might affect how people respond to polls too. Democrats have more likely than Republican voters social distancing. In fact, research has shown poll response rates for democratic voters shot up once the pandemic hit in March increasing from 12% to 16% or 17%. That's enough to potentially skew the numbers. Remember that only about 37% of jobs can be performed at home. A lot of those are white collar, knowledge sector jobs held by college-educated professionals, a group that mostly votes for Democrats these days. I buy that covid was a factor in polls underestimating Republicans. The only factor probably not. I think there were other issues too, but still knock on wood, there will not be another global pandemic in 2024, so that's one thing that pollsters don't have to worry about.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"2:23","description":"FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver discusses the accuracy of polls in the 2020 election on \"This Week.\"","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/ThisWeek","id":"74345951","title":"'I buy that COVID was a factor in polls underestimating' GOP: Nate Silver","url":"/ThisWeek/video/buy-covid-factor-polls-underestimating-gop-nate-silver-74345951"}