Nate Silver's analysis misses a big point: just because the final polls were off from the final re…

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Nate Silver's analysis misses a big point: just because the final polls were off from the final result doesn't mean the polls are wrong.

Polls are a snapshot in time, and things change between the final poll and the actual election.  Case in point is Virginia, where the final polls showed a big gap, but over the next few days, internal polling by the parties reported a significant closing of the gap.  It could very well be that the polls weren't wrong, but that people changed their minds in the closing days.

In elections that are big for (or against) a particular party, you tend to have lots of folks who are undecided go for that party, or even people who were decided for one party switch to that party, in the final days.  That may be part of why 538 reports the polls were skewed GOP in 1998, 2006, and 2012 (significant anti-GOP years), and skewed Dem in 1994, 2002, and 2014 (significant anti-Dem years): not because of "herding" but because of voting behavior.

The interesting thing to me is that all the biggest anti-party years are midterms, except 2012. G+

The Polls Were Skewed Toward Democrats

For much of this election cycle, Democrats complained the polls were biased against them. They said the polls were failing to represent enough minority voters and applying overly restrictive likely...

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