Economists Looking Into Polling Errors in 2016 Election

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Andy Brownback and Aaron Novotny work in the Walton College of Business. They are looking into the polling errors in the Clinton-Trump election. The nationwide study focused on the disparity between the voters based on who people are willing to publicly support.

“Our goal was to understand how people revealed their political preferences to pollsters,” said Brownback. “One group saw a list of five items and of those five items, they told us how many they agree with. In the other group, we asked for a responses to four items, and then an explicit response to what is called our sensitive question.”

So, what did the two find out? They say their research shows party bases may just not be too thrilled to say that they agree with the other side.

“People are very proud to state the agreement with the candidate they’ve chosen, and they’re very hesitant to state agreement with the candidate that’s opposing their chosen candidate,” said Brownback.

“Outwardly, if I’m a Republican, outwardly I’m all about Trump.  Inwardly, Clinton could be making a lot of very valid points and I agree completely,” said Novotny.

But in a little glimmer of hope in what many see as a gloomy post election hangover, Brownback says this research shows we have more in common than we think .

“When we look at the data, we don’t see any evidence for people being hesitant to reveal their political preferences, what we do see evidence for is that people are hesitant to reveal cross party agreement,” said Brownback.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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