With the 2020 election drawing ever nearer, polls indicating a victory for former Vice President Joe Biden are earning bipartisan scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats.
Now, both Republicans and Democrats are pointing to 2016’s now-infamous polling which suggested Hillary Clinton would easily defeat Donald Trump.
One Democrat pollster recently remarked, “These same geniuses all predicted that Hillary Clinton was unstoppable and inevitable.”
“The only thing we need to remember is that every single poll had Hillary Clinton winning, and then she lost,” said another Democrat strategist.
From The Hill:
To Trump and Republicans, the polls are fake news and no more reliable than surveys predicting Hillary Clinton would be elected president in 2016.
Some Democrats are equally skeptical, warning their party not to buy into the early data.
“These same geniuses all predicted that Hillary Clinton was unstoppable and inevitable,” said Chris Kofinis, a Democratic pollster.
While Trump argues the polls undersell his support, some Democrats say surveys showing Biden well ahead of the Democratic field are not to be trusted.
Both sides think a close race in 2020 is likely and that surveys showing Biden and other Democrats with huge leads aren’t likely to reflect Election Day’s reality.
“Anyone who believes that the Democratic candidate is headed for a landslide victory right now is doomed to repeat the tragic history of 2016,” Kofinis said. “It’s a fundamental mistake for anyone to believe that reality can be projected or predicted based on these polls this far out from the general election.”
The doubts surrounding polls underscore the degree to which confidence in the polling industry collapsed in 2016, when much of the public was blindsided by Trump’s victory.
Republicans are optimistic that the stronger economy will propel Trump to another victory in 2020. They say they’ll have a big head start with general election fundraising and organizing as Democrats slog through the primary.
Those arguments resonate with some Democrats, who are worried their party will become complacent.
“The only thing we need to remember is that every single poll had Hillary Clinton winning and then she lost,” said one top Democratic strategist. “I don’t put any stock in any poll, especially right now. I think Trump starts off in a strong position. Can he be beaten? Yes. But we’ll be going up against a machine and a very organized force. Don’t believe anyone who tells you Joe Biden or any Democrat is winning in Texas. That’s crazy. Give me a break.”