Donald Trump

How USC/LA Times Poll Predicted a Trump Victory

A USC/Los Angeles Times poll got a lot of flak across the nation and criticism from Democrats because it consistently showed that Donald Trump would win the presidential election.

In the end, the USC/LA Times pollsters were proved right.

Nearly every major poll consistently predicted Hillary Clinton would win. The USC/LA Times poll consistently predicted the winner would be Trump.

Survey Director Jill Darling said USC's polling was different in several ways. Firstly, it consistently polled the same group of people; secondly, it was Internet based instead of phone based; and thirdly, there was more weight given to people who didn't vote in 2012.

"If you completely dismiss those people, you're not going to see a surge among people who didn't vote in the past," Darling said.

USC's poll captured that surge. Mostly white and many rural voters didn't go to the polls to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012, but did turn out to vote for Trump.

"He appealed to an unheard mass," Darling said. "Now that mass has a voice."

Darling believes polling the same group of voters every time established trust, which might have made them more honest about their choice.

"Many people distrust polls in general, especially people who already distrust government," Darling said.

A distrust of the incoming government has already begun with these young people. But even though the polls were way off the mark this time, pollsters say it would be a mistake to get rid of them.

One thing to point out is that the national polling of the popular vote was more accurate than the state by state polls. Clinton is on her way to winning the popular vote, which most pollsters got right within the margin of error.

Contact Us