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Politics Podcast: Why Polls Were Off In 2020, And Why They Weren’t That Bad

The presidential polls were off by somewhere in the range of 4 percentage points, which is notably larger than the recent average error of 2.3 points. In this installment of Model Talk on the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, editor-in-chief Nate Silver and Galen Druke explain why a polling error of even 4 points isn’t that unexpected, offer reasons why the error occurred, and discuss the usefulness of polling and modeling going forward.

Related: The Polls Weren’t Great. But That’s Pretty Normal.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.