Pollsters read survey results about upcoming elections in a very circumscribed sense, as a snapshot in time (as the well-worn yet apt characterization goes), while the rest of the world tends to view them as predictions. In particular, trial ballot questions are often viewed as predictive of what will happen on Election Day. If you read about the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll last month, you no doubt noticed that some of its “predictions” did not match up with the actual outcomes of Tuesday’s primaries.
So what happened?
The ongoing challenge of public polling is ...