Why polling predictions for President 2016 were off across Michigan

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(WLNS) – Predictions by pollsters on who would take Michigan were off almost across the board, giving Hillary Clinton a 5 point lead in the state.

Local pollsters say this election was like no other, and although they tailored their models for this years polling, there were factors I play they say they couldn’t see coming beforehand.

Lansing Pollster Tom Shields says some of the measures that went wrong with polling this election started back at stage one of the campaign.

“The model that we all design our polls on is all based on past experience,” Shields explained.

This election was new territory.

“The way that he campaigned was different than the way anybody else hade done it before,” Epic MRA Pollster Bernie Porn said.

Both Porn and Shields say Trump attracted a different kind of voter, one that doesn’t usually vote in elections.

“White men who feel that the economy was not helping them,” Porn said.

Trump also had a different approach to campaigning.

“He basically was a virtual reality campaign,” Shields said.

Shields believes Trump’s social media presence and his avid supporters weren’t tracked as well as they could’ve been.

“Somehow we’re going to have to factor in that intensity, and the interest in voting into who we poll in the future,” Shields said.

That made polling harder to track but so did other factors that would normally be taken for granted to push Hillary Clinton to win Michigan.

“African Americans did not turn out,” Porn listed. “Detroit did not turn out”.

Shields says other last minute news releases also made tracking the numbers harder to hit.

“The email scandal which came out ten days before the election”.

Each of these small details lead to pollsters across the state estimating a slight lead by Clinton.

“All those little things add up to 3, 4, 5 points,” Shields said.

Which is almost exactly the percentage of error made.

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