The Gist

Pollster Pitfalls

Robert Cahaly, who predicted a Trump win in 2016, reveals his 2020 forecast.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, an Alaskan drama.

In the interview, Mike talks with Robert Cahaly, head pollster of the Atlanta-based Trafalgar Group. Robert explains their polling methodology in gathering accurate opinion data, why social desirability bias comes into play, and how his team was able to predict Trump’s win in 2016. Now he posits that in 2020 Trump has more support than the polls could be showing.

In the spiel, Kabuki-style hearings continue for Amy Coney Barrett.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.