America’s self-proclaimed “most accurate poll” has put Donald Trump on even terms with Hillary Clinton as the November 8 election day approaches.
The prediction comes despite the vast majority of credible US election polls predicting that Mrs Clinton, the Democratic candidate, will obliterate her Republican rival at the election.
The latest IBD/TIPP tracker – which has demonstrated a differential of only 0.9 per cent between its margin and actual election outcomes since 2004 – suggests a dead heat between the Democratic and Republican candidates.
In a face-off to become president, Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump find themselves tied at 41 per cent each, according to IBD.
“Our initial tracking polls showed Trump consistently with a one-point lead and on Saturday it popped up to two points, and we thought, ‘wow this must be really something’, then one day later it was down 42-42,” IBD associate editor Terry Jones said in a recent internet video.
However, Mr Jones acknowledged the IBD tracking poll is one of few major polls showing a tightening race.
“We’re very much I think an outlier, there are just a handful of other polls that find similarly to us of a close race between Clinton and Trump,” he said.
“Only time will tell, polls are not exact science, people think they are but they’re not … both of us can’t be right.”
‘That’s more art than science’
According to the experts spoken to by The New Daily, the truth is simple: IBD’s polling is incorrect.
“I can’t find any evidence that they were the most accurate,” University of Melbourne Election Watch deputy editor James Cahill said.
“That’s a claim IBD has made and it seems to be based on the idea that they are using one metric which is: ‘We got closest to Obama’s actual result’.
“One tracking poll with one methodology is not something I’d put a lot of weight in.”
Mr Cahill said while other major polls also have Mr Trump in the low 40s, IBD’s significant number of undecided voters makes it an anomaly.
He said using aggregators is one way to avoid being tricked by a poll that’s “more of an art than a science”.
The Real Clear Politics – which shows an average from recent polls including CNN, Fox News and IBD – found Mrs Clinton stands at 45 per cent to Mr Trump’s 39.4 per cent, giving the Democrat a 5.6 per cent advantage in the two-way contest.
There’s an element of guesswork involved
United States Studies Centre lecturer Dr Sarah Graham echoed Mr Cahill’s comments, saying IBD past margins are not an indicator it will be correct in the future.
“I’m just kind of a little sceptical because it is such an outlier,” Dr Graham told The New Daily.
“I’m pretty sceptical of this given the weight of numbers and just with a small group of 800 or so people – no matter how carefully it has been put together you could just by chance have a very strange sample,” Dr Graham told The New Daily.
And despite the pollsters’ rigorous attempt of getting a mixed sample of voters and likely voters, and using different incomes and ideological views to make their judgment, it doesn’t mean it’s accurate, Dr Graham said
“That doesn’t mean it is an accurate poll, there is always an element of chance,” she said.
“Other polls have been talking about how Clinton’s lead is just pretty far north of the margin of error – which would be about three per cent.”
The most recent ABC News poll reported Mrs Clinton has vaulted to a 12 per cent lead over Mr Trump with its national survey declaring a 50 to 38 per cent advantage Mrs Clinton’s way.