Thanks, FiveThirtyEight, for the #2 Ranking

Every year, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight releases its Pollster Ratings. As he recently opined, “Polls just had one of their best election cycles, ever — but challenges abound in the industry…”

We agree!

(And it’s not just because Cygnal was ranked the #1 most-accurate private pollster, we promise…)

What excites us more is the fact that political pundits are finally coming to the realization our team had nearly two years ago – the polling industry is changing.

…and fast.

Of the top 5 pollsters last cycle, Cygnal is the only one that used sample collection modes beyond live phone calls. That’s a pretty big feat considering the 2018 cycle was our first providing only polling and predictive analytics services.

And this is in the face of what Silver states as the biggest problem in polling today:

The main one is simply that response rates to traditional telephone polls continue to decline. In large part because of caller-ID and call-blocking technologies, it’s simply harder than it used to be to get people to answer phone calls from people they don’t know. In addition to potentially making polls less accurate, that also makes them more expensive, since a pollster has to spend more time making calls for every completed response that it gets.

But what’s next? Is it online polling? Silver commented on that route: “Well, the problem is that in recent elections, polls that use live interviewers to call both landlines and cellphones continue to outperform other methods, such as online and automated (IVR) polls. Moreover, online and IVR polls are generally more prone toward herding…”

What we’ve found in our last 430+ multi-mode polls is that every mode of contacting voters – including live phone calls – has inherent biases. Therefore, it’s imperative that your pollster fields all their surveys in-house to mitigate for those biases. Outsourcing non-phone fielding just isn’t an option yet.

So 🥂to the amazing Cygnal team – from our sampling crew to our software developers to our account management clan to our front-line peeps!