In this week’s edition of the Observador Newsletter – Special American Elections, journalist João de Almeida Dias brings us the history of the polls in the last 90 years and deconstructs the results to answer a simple question: is it worth trusting the numbers? And those who present them to us?

In 2016, Hillary Clinton was expected to be the winner in virtually every poll. The story, as we know so well today, was very different. Donald Trump’s victory has caused polling, press and pundits to question what has become an institution in every election.

The history of prediction errors did not begin in 2016 with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. As journalist João de Almeida Dias recalls in this week’s Observador newsletter, already in Harry Truman’s time there were newspapers taking for granted the victory of the wrong candidate, based on polls. This was on election day.

But what failed anyway in 2016? Was it the polls or those who present them to the public? The debate is complex and still ongoing in the 2020 elections, in which we again see extremely favorable polls for Democratic candidate Joe Biden to the detriment of President Donald Trump.

Read here the analysis of João de Almeida Dias to know what failed and how careful that should be taken when we see the numbers that until the next day 3 November will be presented to us on television, newspapers, our phones or tablets. You can also subscribe to the newsletter to receive it directly in your email every Monday.