Is Polling Still Relevant?


2016 will be remembered for all sorts of monumental things — many of them bad.

If you were in the polling industry in 2016, you may even call it a very bad year. Brexit wasn’t exactly a shining example of getting the call right. Then, there’s that pesky Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump contest that didn’t really go the way pollsters said.

Or did it?

Perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about polling public opinion is that it’s meant to call winners and losers in a contest. In reality, polling and surveying is about predicting the probability of an outcome. (And, side note: pollsters got the popular vote nearly bang on).

Recently, at Grow Canada, Lyndsey Smith spoke with pollsters Doug Anderson, of Earnscliffe Strategy Group, David Coletto, of Abacus Data, and Shachi Kurl of Angus Reid Institute. In the interview below the pollsters talk about what polling is actually about, how it applies to gauging public opinion on food trends, and why, yes, polling is still a valid craft even in 2016.

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