Larry Sabato Warns of Complete ‘Redesign’ of Polling: ‘Yes, There Was a Hidden Trump Vote, They’ve Been Denying It Forever’


Larry Sabato, the creator of the Crystal Ball for UVA’s Center of Politics, warned of a complete “redesign” of polling as we know it after the 2020 elections. He also ripped pollsters for not calculating the “hidden Trump vote” and “denying it forever” on CNBC.

While the 2016 election featured a plethora of well-documented polling errors, 2020 has been no stranger to similar outcomes. Several pundits have warned of a similar scenario to 2016, and races like Trump’s victory in Florida and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) retaining her senate seat defied the results of most pollsters. That gap led to criticism from Sabato Wednesday night.

“I’m delighted that I’m not a pollster so I can criticize them freely,” Sabato told CNBC’s Shepard Smith. “They’re going to have to completely redesign what they do. Yes, there was a hidden Trump vote — they’ve been denying it forever. People in my friend have denying it forever. I think there’s clear proof in the two elections 2016 and 2020.”

“Four years ago for a long while we didn’t use polls in the newscast I was senioring there,” Smith said referring to Fox News’ 2016 election broadcast. “I wonder if we need to all look in the mirror — journalists and everybody else who uses them — come four years from now and say, ‘I don’t know.'”

“I think it’s useful to refer to them and to look at them but don’t be driven by them,” Sabato said. “There’s something about concrete numbers that human beings love. It takes an imprecise art and turns it into a science except politics has never been and will never be a science.”

Watch above, via CNBC.

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