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Experts discuss polling accuracy ahead of 2020 elections

NOW: Experts discuss polling accuracy ahead of 2020 elections

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MADISON (CBS 58) – Pollsters want to avoid inaccuracies in the 2020 election cycle that were put in the spotlight in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential contest.

The majority of polls in 2016 projected Hillary Clinton defeated then-candidate Donald Trump. Those polls were put into question, but since then, pollsters say they are prepared for the 2020 season after making some adjustments.

Experts gathered at a Midwest Polling Summit Wednesday to discuss challenges in measuring public opinion ahead of next year’s election.

Pollsters say it is harder to get people to participate in phone interviews. That has forced them to create broader outreach online, in mail and in person.

Marquette University Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin said he’s confident polls can continue to be accurate and trusted.

“2016 here in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania shook that confidence,” Franklin told CBS 58. “But there’s reason to believe that we’re doing pretty good in the aftermath. People have made adjustments, I’ve made some adjustments but it doesn’t look like the fundamental process of polling is broken.”

Franklin noted that the 2018 midterm and gubernatorial polling in Wisconsin were accurate, further emphasizing that the science of polling is still solid going into 2020.

“It still works pretty well.”

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