Trump v Clinton: Why the pollsters seemed to get it wrong

Making election predictions was easier before big data, when everyone had a landline
90-year-old Chinese American Cy Yen Liu, center, checks her ballot as she waits behind ballot-filling booths at a polling station in Flushing section of the Queens borough of New York, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Liu, originally from Shanghai, China, immigrated to the United States 50 years ago. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)
© AP

Polls are not predictions, though they inform them, and predictions are not guarantees. To hear the criticism being hurled at America’s pollsters, though, you would think a terrible travesty has been committed, that the widespread failure to predict Donald Trump’s victory represented a dereliction of some duty to democracy.