LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Democrat Hillary Clinton was a longtime favorite in the pre-election polls, but the Electoral College delivered a surprise Tuesday night, giving Donald Trump the White House.
The final EPIC-MRA poll released Nov. 4 showed Clinton with a 4 percent lead, which fell within the margin of error, making it a statistical tie.
Wednesday morning, state election officials called Michigan for Trump, by a 13,225-vote margin.
Bernie Porn of EPIC-MRA says despite the unexpected outcome, he is happy with the results of recent polls conducted by his company.
“We went from an 11-point lead right off the convention… then at four points, we said that if turnout in Detroit in our black areas, African-American areas is not as high as it needs to be, this could be a very close race,” explained Porn.
He says not counting urban participation, Clinton clearly wasn’t able to match the African-American voter turnout Barack Obama experienced. Porn said that disparity played a major role in the results in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Porn said a lot of late-breaking polls painted a different picture than how the race ended up.
“Obviously things did not work out well this time,” he conceded.
But Porn stands by the overall results of the polls he conducts.
“History would suggest with the exception of the 2016 race, polling has been very, very accurate over the years,” he told 24 Hour News 8.
Porn doesn’t believe those surveyed were too ashamed of their choice to skew their answers.
“I don’t think that people where shy about saying they were going to vote for Donald Trump any more than they were shy in saying they were going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Don’t forget, both of them had very high unfavorable numbers,” he said.
He also doesn’t question EPIC-MRA’s method of phone surveys, which includes 30 percent cellphone users.
“But what I wish is that we would’ve had one more poll the weekend before the election. We would’ve probably caught the undecided voters who in most cases, since Hillary Clinton was viewed as the incumbent associated with Barack Obama, that usually you have 60 to two-thirds of undecideds breaking toward the challenger. Which if you had seen that right before the election, it probably would’ve shown just what happened,” Porn explained.