The polls conducted during the electoral campaign occupy a large place in the public debate on the other side of the Atlantic. Every day, many institutes – as well as several media – producing statistics, publishing them on voting intentions and tracking their variation day after day, State by State.
However, these polls, in November 2016, had given rise to serious questions. During the last presidential election, everyone hinted at Hillary Clinton’s victory over Donald Trump, and thus her almost certain election as the first woman president of the United States. As everyone knows, however, the exact opposite has happened, leaving many Americans dumbfounded, in the most total incomprehension.
At the time, a survey carried out by the Pew Research Center, taking into account the sex, age, ethnicity and the education rate applied to the various ethnic groups that make up the United States, had allowed us to understand after the fact that 64% of « white non-college graduates », or white people who did not go to college, voted for Donald Trump at the time – compared to just 28% for Hillary Clinton. This electorate then passed under the radar of polling institutes was however the one who had most supported the current President of the United States according to the survey.
The education factor
“It turned out four years ago that people with fairly advanced education voted for Hillary Clinton while those who were less educated, if not very little, voted for Donald Trump,” adds Mathieu Gallard, director of studies at Ipsos. This time, the statisticians are paying attention to all social categories, all communities and ethnicities, and all ages. “
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Yet another factor should not be neglected: that of the last minute vote. Despite the incessant messages – especially from various public figures – urging Americans to vote early, some Americans do not express their choice until a few days before D-Day. According to Cécile Belin, doctor of political science “The mistake made in 2016 was to ignore in the media the fall of Hillary Clinton noted in the polls carried out in the very last days preceding the election. “ However, during this historic ballot, recalls this specialist, the effect of surprise had been total, and the pivot States or « swing States », like Florida, North Carolina or Wisconsin, lost by the Democratic candidate ” except for a few voices “, had fully played their role of purveyors of large voters and of presidents.
As Mathieu Gallard asserts “What also explains this 2016 result is the 10% of undecided voters at the time. These voters spoke out at the last moment and they were mostly white people with a fairly low level of education. “ This share of the electorate is estimated at around 4% today. And it remains an x factor in the ballot, likely to lead to significant changes.
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