Commentary: The State of Political Polling in America

Two years ago, 14 public opinion polls queried Maine voters about their preference in the campaign between incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Every one of those surveys had Gideon ahead, by margins ranging from 1 percentage point (Bangor Daily News) to 12 points (Quinnipiac). When the election returns rolled in, however, none of them were close. Collins prevailed handily, beating Gideon by 8.6%.

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