US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on May 4, 2018 in Washington, DC, as he heads to Dallas, Texas to address the National Rifle Association Leadership Forum. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Andrew RomanoAndrew Romano
·West Coast CorrespondentWed, November 4, 2020, 6:41 PM EST

As of Wednesday afternoon, we still don’t know for sure who the next U.S. president will be. That’s because — as expected — key states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia haven’t finished counting their votes.

But one thing is clear, even now: Pollsters systematically underestimated President Trump’s support — again. This time, they missed by an even bigger margin than in 2016. And Yahoo News was no exception; our final YouGov poll gave Democrat Joe Biden a 10-point lead.

And so even if Trump doesn’t beat Biden, he has largely beaten his pre-election polls.

The question is why almost everyone was off.

The 2020 polling error “matches the pattern of the 2016 error really well, so there really does seem to be something wrong here,” explained G. Elliott Morris, a data journalist who runs the Economist’s election forecast, during a Wednesday postmortem on the “Science of Politics” podcast. “It’s not just two random polling errors.”

Across the Rust Belt in particular, the polls and the results weren’t even close:

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