Pollster Frank Luntz: If Trump defies polls again in 2020, ‘my profession is done’
Pollster Frank Luntz told Fox News on Thursday night that if poll predictions are wrong about the 2020 election between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, his “profession is done” in terms of faith and confidence from the public.
Recent polls show Biden ahead nationally in some polls by double digits, with the former vice president ahead in the majority of battleground states. Biden is also competing with Trump in states like Georgia and Texas, which are normally carried by Republican candidates.
The assessment comes nearly four years after President Trump defied almost all polls, upsetting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by winning the Electoral College, 304-227.
Trump, however, lost the popular vote.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Luntz during the network’s pre-debate coverage on Thursday night what the consequences would be for pollsters if the industry gets it wrong again.
“Well, I hate to acknowledge it, because that’s my industry — at least partially — but the public will have no faith. No confidence. Right now, the biggest issue is the trust deficit. And pollsters did not do a good job in 2016. So if Donald Trump surprises people, if Joe Biden had a 5- or 6-point lead, my profession is done.”
Many election forecasts, including from The New York Times and FiveThirtyEight, gave Clinton more than a 70 percent chance of winning the morning of Nov. 8, 2016.
On Oct. 21, 2016, the Times “Upshot” even went as high as giving the former secretary of State a 93 percent chance to take the White House.
The RealClearPolitics index of polls gave Clinton a 3.2 percent advantage nationally on the eve of the election. The Democratic nominee captured the popular vote by 2.1 percentage points.
Biden currently leads Trump in the RealClearPolitics index of polls in key battleground states by 4.1 percentage points