The corporate media are already celebrating in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory next month. It’s all over bar the shouting as far as they’re concerned.
But could all the indications pointing to a Hillary Clinton victory turn out to be wrong?
Anyone who is certain that the presidential polls taken today are solid evidence of a Hillary Clinton victory over Donald Trump in November might want to take a look at what happened in the U.K.’s “Brexit” vote just a few months ago.
In the week before voters decided whether Britain should leave the European Union, all but two of nine polls showed the “remain” side winning. One gave the remain side a 10-point lead, 55% to 45%. Others had remain up anywhere from eight to two points. Even exit polls suggested that the U.K. would decide to stay in the EU.
Final tally: leave 52%, remain 48%.
The results left pollsters, and many others, scratching their heads. “Many are wondering how, in an age of unprecedented information and data, could the majority of polls predict a wrong outcome,” is how CNBC put it.
You don’t have to go across the Atlantic to find examples of pollsters getting election outcomes wildly wrong. During the Democratic primaries, pollsters were sure that Hillary Clinton would win in Michigan. The Real Clear Politics average of poll results had Clinton crushing Bernie Sanders by 21 points — 58% to 37%. The FiveThirtyEight blog gave Sanders less than a 1% chance of winning.
Final tally: Sanders 50%, Clinton 48%.