Polling Society accurately predicts Iowa, NH election results

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • February 11, 2016

The Emerson College Polling Society correctly predicted that Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders would win the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

Their poll, released on Monday, pegged Trump to win the Republican primary at 31 percent, with Jeb Bush at 16 percent, John Kasich at 13 percent, Marco Rubio at 12 percent, and Ted Cruz following at 11 percent. According to the Associated Press, the primary’s final results had Trump with 35 percent of the vote, followed by Kasich with 16 percent, Cruz with 12 percent, and Bush with 11 percent.

For the Democratic primary, ECPS predicted Sanders to win with 54 percent of the vote over Hillary Clinton’s 42 percent. On Tuesday, Sanders won over Clinton by an even larger difference—60 to 38 percent.

ECPS conducted their survey between Feb. 4-7. Christine Kane, co-president of the society, said she was happy with the poll. She said the difference in percentages between their projections and the final results could probably be attributed to voters changing their minds on Tuesday.

“You want to try to capture the sentiment at the latest possible moment,” the senior political communication major said.

The polling society has been receiving media attention since it published one of the most accurate projections of the Iowa caucus. Kane said that it’s been exciting to be recognized, but that the spotlight put added pressure on the group.

“We always take it seriously, but there’s a new level of focus for us,” Kane said.

This new degree of accuracy comes from a change in methodology, according to Kane. She said that for the past few polls, the society has sampled those who have voted in prior elections.

Kane said that ECPS will continue to cover the presidential election and related issues for the rest of the semester as part of their Presidential Polling Initiative.

“To be so closely watching this election as it unfolds is a really exciting thing,” Kane said.