Pollsters who predicted Trump win benefit from industry's miss | Reuters
By David Ingram and Jeffrey Dastin | NEW YORK NEW YORK A handful of small public opinion polling companies that bucked consensus and accurately called the U.S. presidential election for Republican Donald Trump are reporting being flooded with calls from investors and clients seeking their services
By David Ingram and Jeffrey Dastin
| NEW YORK
NEW YORK A handful of small public opinion polling companies that bucked consensus and accurately called the U.S. presidential election for Republican Donald Trump are reporting being flooded with calls from investors and clients seeking their services. Most pollsters wrongly forecast Democrat Hillary Clinton as leading Trump ahead of Tuesday's election in the latest fiasco to hit the $20 billion public opinion research industry, only months after it failed to predict the British vote to leave the European Union in a June referendum.Among the few that got it right was a new industry player using a different method, South African firm Brandseye, which analyses social media posts.With offices in Capetown and Johannesburg, Brandseye took an entirely different approach from traditional polling.The data-miner pays people around the world to sift through social media for relevant posts, a process known as crowd-sourcing, and then uses a computer algorithm to rate consumer sentiment about products or politicians. Its method pointed to a Trump victory. It also correctly called Britain's Brexit vote."My phone has not stopped," CEO and part owner JP Kloppers said in a telephone interview on Thursday.Kloppers said venture capitalists have been calling about investing in the firm, and polling companies have inquired about its methods. Kloppers said the company was open to licensing its technology.Existing clients include ride-sharing firm Uber, banks, telecommunications firms and some government agencies, he said. He declined to identify the governments."Elections come every couple of years, but there are companies and governments that need to understand every day and every week what's driving customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction," Kloppers said.
New methods, if successful, are of high interest to polling companies that are having difficulty reaching cellphone users or survey-weary Americans. "The answer is ongoing research," said Krista Jenkins, director of the PublicMind survey research centre at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey. "It's basically digging in as an industry and comparing the findings from your traditional telephone polls to data that is collected online."POLLSTER ERRORS
Traditional pollsters base their results on questions posed to randomly selected people, often in interviews conducted live over the telephone. Among other errors that pollsters made ahead of the U.S election, they almost universally miscalculated how turnout would be distributed among demographic groups.
High-profile London-based polling agency YouGov PLC's (YOU.L) stock dropped 4 percent on Wednesday after its new method of surveying people online failed to accurately predict the U.S. presidential election's outcome. Analysts were split on the reason behind the drop, and YouGov stock partly recovered on Thursday, closing up 2 percent in London trading. No one from YouGov, which primarily does research for corporations, was immediately available to comment on the business implications of the polling miss, a spokesman said.The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project gave Clinton a 90 percent probability of winning the 270 electoral votes needed to secure the election. On its website, one of the possible scenarios was how Trump could win the election by adjusting turnout levels. Ipsos SA (ISOS.PA) will assess what it got wrong, said Clifford Young, president of the French research company's U.S. public affairs unit.Election polling is generally not a big money-maker. Many polls are done by universities or the media, while private research companies use it to market themselves to corporate clients that provide more profitable work.Pioneering U.S. pollster Gallup last year abandoned head-to-head polls for the presidential race, saying it wanted to focus its resources on polls about issues.
The outfits that wrongly foresaw a Clinton victory will suffer damage to their reputation, said Alex DeGroote, a London-based analyst at Peel Hunt LLP who follows the industry."They attach their brand to these polls. If these polls continue to flop, it's not going to help their brand credibility," DeGroote said.Among this year's winners may be Remington Research Group. The Kansas City, Missouri-based pollster correctly predicted that Trump would win the election battleground states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, although it missed Trump's surprising Wisconsin victory.The company, which frequently works with Republican politicians, conducts a mix of automated phone interviews and live phone interviews. It may have done relatively well because other firms were afraid of standing out from the crowd, said Titus Bond, the group's director."A lot of pollsters, they want to be at the same number as everyone else," Bond said.Bond said he received three calls on the morning after the election from corporate clients in the pharmaceutical and fertilizer industries and three others from advocacy groups, all seeking to do business. (Reporting by David Ingram and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Will Dunham)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
LONDON German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partners on Monday accused her of running out of ideas after she announced she would stand for a fourth term in next year's parliamentary election.The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), junior partner to Merkel's conservatives in their ruling "grand coalition", accused the chancellor of a "pretty feeble performance" in announcing her candidacy on Sunday evening.By saying she will seek a fourth term, Merkel has effectively fired the starting gun on campaigning for the election in September next year, though she must govern with the SPD until then."I can't see how Angela Merkel wants to improve this country and prepare it for future challenges," SPD Secretary General Katarina Barley told reporters, adding that Merkel had run out of steam after 11 years in office."I think Mrs Merkel has her merits, but she doesn't stand for the future anymore," said Manuela Schwesig who sits in Merkel's cabinet as minister of family affairs. The SPD politician was answering a question whether she experienced Merkel as being feeble in the cabinet, too
By Tulay Karadeniz and Ece Toksabay | ANKARA ANKARA Turkey said it would retaliate after three of its soldiers were killed in what the military said was a suspected Syrian air strike, the first such deaths at the hands of Syrian government forces since Ankara launched a cross-border incursion in August.The attack occurred at around 3:30 am (0030 GMT) on Thursday during a Turkish-backed Syrian rebel operation in northern Syria, the Turkish military said in a statement. It said 10 other soldiers were wounded in the air strike that it "assessed to have been carried out by Syrian regime forces". It gave no details on the exact location."It is clear that some people are not happy with this battle Turkey has been fighting against Daesh (Islamic State)
By Jan Harvey | LONDON LONDON Gold hit its lowest since February on Thursday, extending losses after its biggest monthly decline in more than three years, as a surge in oil prices boosted bond yields, denting interest in non-yielding gold as an alternative investment.The precious metal fell more than 8 percent in November, hurt by a jump in the dollar and Treasury yields after Donald Trump's surprise election to the U.S. presidency last month, and by expectations that the Federal Reserve is gearing up to lift interest rates for only the second time in a decade in December.Spot gold was down 0.8 percent at $1,163.31 an ounce at 1505 GMT, having earlier reached a 10-month low of $1,160.38.