Timeline Of Presidential Polling

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As the 2020 presidential race heats up, attention has turned to presidential polling and the wisdom of relying on an industry that generally predicted the wrong outcome in 2016. The Onion takes a look at the history of presidential polling.

1935: George Gallup founds American Institute of Public Opinion in attempt to quench his endless thirst for juicy voter gossip.


1936: Someone is calling on the telephone! Imagine that, Stanley, a call on the telephone! And they want to know who we think should be our president!

 1940: Polls confirm what everyone knew intuitively: Wendell Willkie sucks.

1948: Pollsters’ methods questioned after they failed to predict there would be an election that year.


1960: Kennedy consistently polls ahead of Nixon when voters asked who they could see being assassinated as president.

1988: Sarah Summers of Des Moines, IA correctly observes that ignoring endless months of polling makes life happier.


1992: Third-party candidate Ross Perot creates challenges for pollsters because three is more than two.

2000: Polls don’t take into account that Supreme Court can just pick whoever they want.


2016: Margin of error wins again.