New Jersey Pollster Admits to a Big Miss in Governor Vote: ‘I Blew It’
(Bloomberg) -- The director of a New Jersey poll that had Governor Phil Murphy with an 11 percentage-point lead over Republican Jack Ciattarelli apologized on Thursday to both campaigns and voters, saying it may be time to get rid of pre-election polling.
“I blew it,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University poll, said in a guest column published by NJ.com.
Murphy was declared the winner on Wednesday by the Associated Press, whose latest count shows him ahead by a margin of 1.6 percentage points. Ciattarelli has yet to concede.
Election polling is “prone to its fair share of misses if you focus only on the margins,” Murray said. The polls rely on models that “have tended to work,” Murray said, “because the errors balance out into a reasonable projection of what the overall electorate eventually looks like.”
Some organizations have decided to opt out of election polling, Murray said.
“Perhaps that is a wise move,” Murray said. “If we cannot be certain that these polling misses are anomalies then we have a responsibility to consider whether releasing horse race numbers in close proximity to an election is making a positive or negative contribution.”
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