Study: People find polls favoring their own candidate to be more credible

Voters are more likely to find a poll of the 2020 election credible if it shows their preferred candidate leading the field, according to a new study.

The study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and University of Michigan found that Americans are more likely to dismiss the results of a poll if they find those results unfavorable for their political leanings.


It went on to find that publicizing a poll's methodology is the best way to dispel illusions of partisan bias in objective sampling of the population.

“If people focus on these objective aspects of polls, they may be less likely to immediately dismiss results that they find unfavorable," wrote the study's lead author, Ozan Kuru.

"This framework could also be applied to the communication of other metrics of public opinion in news reports – such as polling averages, forecasting models, analysis of social media content, and election prediction markets – as well as official public statistics such as unemployment rates, census data, and election outcomes," Kuru continued.

Josh Pasek, the study's co-author, added that accurate polling was important to prevent allegations of fraud on Election Day, as it was beneficial if voters in both parties are not surprised by election results.

"When Republicans and Democrats have diverging expectations, it is likely that many people will be surprised by the result on Election Day," he said in a press release accompanying the study. "These sentiments can validate perceptions of fraud, where people think that their expectations were upended because their opponents must have done something illegitimate."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE won the 2016 presidential election despite his opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonStakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff Poll: Biden leads Trump by 5 points in Minnesota Pelosi makes fans as Democrat who gets under Trump's skin MORE (D), leading in many national polls prior to his victory. Her narrow defeat, coupled with revelations of Russian interference in the election, prompted some of her supporters to declare the Trump presidency illegitimate.