How the US media failed to predict Trump’s victory

A discussion with Brooke Van Dam, PhD, Professor of Journalism at Georgetown University

by David Child and Francisco Baiocchi

Few pundits anticipated that Donald Trump, who had surveyed poorly among female and minority voters during the campaign, could win key battleground states including Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. But as the first polls began to close on election night, predictive presidential trackers from a number of respected media outlets radically shifted in Trump’s favour.

Brooke Van Dam of Georgetown University, whose research focuses on the changing practices of journalists, sat down with us to discuss the issues at play in the US media’s substantial misread of the US electorate. She also provided her perspective on the broader disconnect between the public and the fourth estate.


How did the media polls get the election result so wrong?


What has Donald Trump tapped into among US voters?


What does the future of journalism look like under a Trump presidency?


Is the US media disconnected from the American electorate?


Is social media the primary news source for an increasing share of the US public?   

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