The Polls Got it Wrong in Michigan


Caroline McFarland, Writer

The Michigan primary, held on March 8, was expected to be an easy win for Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. FiveThirtyEight gave her a 99 percent chance of winning, while the Monmouth University polls predicted Clinton would get 55 percent of the vote and Sanders would get 42. Yet, Senator Bernie Sanders won with 49.8 percent, and Clinton left with 48.3 percent.

The difference between the 49.8 percent and 48.3 percent may not seem like much, but that is a difference of 18,427 votes. Yahoo called it a “one of the biggest upsets in Democratic primary history.” Although the number of delegates gained by each candidate only differed by 7, the fact that Sanders won delivered a sharp blow to the Clinton campaign. Regardless, Clinton is the frontrunner, and is expected to secure the party nomination. Is her nomination still guaranteed?

Sanders acknowledged that the Michigan vote was close, but made it clear that he believes this could happen again. “What tonight means is that the Bernie Sanders campaign, the people’s revolution that we’re talking about, the political revolution that we’re talking about, is strong is every part of the country. And, frankly, we believe our strongest areas are yet to happen.”

While this won’t ruin Clinton’s overall advantage in the race, it definitely is embarrassing. Clinton won a streak of states in the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, and South Carolina. But as we head into more states in the North, can Sanders win enough to defy expectations? Currently, Clinton has 1,235 delegates and Sanders has 580. The number of delegates needed for Democratic party nomination is 2,383.

As for the Republicans, Businessman Donald Trump won with 36.5 percent of the vote, gaining 25 delegates. Senator Ted Cruz came in second with 24.9 percent and attained 17 delegates.

Only time can tell if the polls will get it wrong again.  As more and more states predict that Clinton will win, anything can happen. After Michigan, Clinton will have to try harder than ever to secure this nomination.