Tennessean Opinion Editor David Plazas spoke to William Lyons, Knoxville political columnist and University of Tennessee professor, on June 2, 2020.
I used to conduct surveys. Issues with reliability and changing technology have made polling so much harder and less precise as we saw with the 2020 election.
- William Lyons has worked as a political science professor at University of Tennessee and adviser to Knoxville mayors.
For the second straight presidential election year, it was a bad day for the pollsters.
In 2016, there had been a three-point divergence between the late election surveys. This year it was closer to 6% nationally and often higher in key states.
And the divergence was not random. The polls were off in the same direction.
I used to be a pollster, or more properly, a member of