In 1948, four national polling firms infamously predicted that Thomas Dewey would win the presidential election by a comfortable 5 to 15 percentage points rather than the 4.4 percentage point victory won by President Harry Truman. This error brought the young polling industry to its knees.
The 2016 presidential election results took many people of all political stripes by surprise. It will be a while before it is fully understood why figures released by many reputable state and national polls were off, some by a wide margin. Until then, history may offer some potential explanations.
This is a cautionary tale about the importance of social media literacy, involving a company with a limited online profile, the hot-button issue of "pink slime" and a contingent of interested citizens with active social media accounts.