RCP co-founder Tom Bevan and "The Federalist" editor Mollie Hemingway joined FNC's Laura Ingraham on Wednesday to talk about the reckoning that must occur for pollsters who called the election wrong in 2016, and then called it even more wrong in 2020:
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: [New York Times columnist] David Brooks said, "Golly, we as news organizations need to understands this right half of the country." It is good he is saying that at this point, but the last plausible time you could say that news organizations needed to reflect on their failures was in November 2016, when they learned this lesson that time.
they responded to this realization that they has comepltely failed in that campaign, understanding half the country, by getting far worse. I don't anticipate they will get better.
Results show, I think, what they did was intentional -- these polls were off by such a great aomunt. Not all polls, but the media polls were off. A few pollsters got things right. But the media narrative that this was an impossible win for Donald Trump and the Senate was going to the Democrats and the Democrats would gain more strength in the house. every part of that was wrong. And I think it's time for people to stop taking polls seriously. Treat them like they are reading goat entrails or tea leaves, or something, because this was really fraudulent.
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS: And who knows how many votes were suppressed by all of these false prognostications, these never-proven algorithms... Tom, the "New York Times" pollster Nate Cohn took a shot at you, RCP, tweeting: "One small casualty of the election: The RealClearPolitics average. RCP's averages this cycle just haven't been a fair average of the polling that's out there."
Tom, you have a before response: "New York Times" overestimated Biden support by +6 in Florida, +4 in North Carolina, 6ish in Michigan, +10 in Wisconsin and +10 in Iowa. Tom, why are they still in the polling business?
TOM BEVAN, REALCLEARPOITICS: That's a good question. There has to be accountability. You can't just make the same mistake over again and extect to walk away like nothing happened. Mollie is right. There were 2 sets of pollsters, 2 different world views. There were the Trafalgars, Susquehanas, Insider Advantage, who saw this race as very close and saw Donald Trump's support as solid, and another set of pollsters who saw the idea it was a Biden blowout, he was up. They misjudged the electorate.
Then throw on top of that, the media and the pundits, who made the same mistake as in 2016, to ignore and marginalize the information and data points they didn't agree with, and glom on to the data points that fit into their preconceived narrative. How many times have we heard, we heard "2020 is not 2016 because..."
Biden's favorable ratings, Trump is the incumbent, COVID, 200k death, every data point that reenforced that Donald Trump could not win is how we got to the point where the blue wave never materialized.
LAURA INGRAHAAM: Everyone in the country has to understand this. Everyone is looking at the top line, will Trump will get the votes in Arizona, obviously that is critically important, but we have a narrative that has been building in this country and misleading the American public -- from when we determine who wins a state, to who is the real racist or xenophobe? This has real electoral consequences, this is no joke.
Mollie, this could affect the way states turnout with the final vote. If people are calling races, who knows how it affects other people out west? We don't know. We have to have integrity in the vote and the process or what is it worth in the end, period?
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY: We need to think about how the media are the largest political activists in the country. Yes, a lot of it is about the years leading it up to. There are many ways the media can rig an election, by downplaying the negatives for their preferred candidate and ignoring the positives of their disfavored candidate and inventing false narratives like the Russian collusion hoax, or like last week this Anonymous, where the media claimed there was a high level saboteur in the Trump administration, it was completely false.