Why the US pollsters got it wrong - the “mob” came out and sometimes things change

President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist during an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016,

President-elect Donald Trump pumps his fist during an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) - Credit: AP

Tuesday afternoon was a prescient moment for John McLaughlin, the chief executive and Partner of McLaughlin and Associates - a company which has worked with the victorious candidate Donald Trump.

'Polls can be proven wrong', he told me on Tuesday afternoon as Donald Trump supporters flocked to polling stations.

'You guys saw it with the Brexit situation in Britain. Whether they're Americans or whether they're British or whether they're Israelis, whomever, in India, they love making fools of pollsters. And the election gives them that chance to do that.'

He acknowledged the Democrats was a turnout machine, but - like Brexit - the machine was not enough.

'The difference is the Trump campaign is more of a mob, and the mob is coming out in places today where people on their own are just from their own passion and enthusiasm are coming out.'

This year has been a torrid one for the international polling industry.

While Brexit was within a margin of error for some pollsters, and it was clear it was going to be close towards the end of the campaign, the result took people by surprise.

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So why didn't the United States pollsters take note from Brexit?

Jefrey Pollock, founding partner and president of Global Strategy Group, said earlier in the week there was a massive amount of data and rigorous modelling which pointed to a victory for the Democrats.

He said that the 'multimodal stuff' - meaning the online and the phone polls – 'all sort of make sense and they all – they all are in line'.

But acknowledged they are not always right.

'It's whether or not things change between now and Election Day. Of course, we have so many polls these days that are leading up to today. But you always have undecided voters, and of course, how they break will impact things.'

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