He mounts a defense of political polling and does his annual ratings of outfits….
With the 2018 midterm elections approaching, we’ve updated FiveThirtyEight’s pollster ratings for the first time since the 2016 presidential primaries. Based on how the media portrayed the polls after President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton later that year, you might expect pollsters to get a pretty disastrous report card.
But here’s a stubborn and surprising fact — and one to keep in mind as midterm polls really start rolling in: Over the past two years — meaning in the 2016 general election and then in the various gubernatorial elections and special elections that have taken place in 2017 and 2018 — the accuracy of polls has been pretty much average by historical standards.
You read that right. Polls of the November 2016 presidential election were about as accurate as polls of presidential elections have been on average since 1972. And polls of gubernatorial and congressional elections in 2016 were about as accurate, on average, as polls of those races since 1998. Furthermore, polls of elections since 2016 — meaning, the 2017 gubernatorial elections and the various special elections to Congress this year and last year — have been slightly more accurate than average….