McCormack Speaks

2016 Election Results Exposed a Fractured Media Landscape


by Michael Ahn
Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs

We went through this election season in our own bubbles–self-selected media networks reflective our political preference, social media sites with friends “like” us, and other various online sources of our choice–where we selectively chose facts, opinions, or conspiracy theories. We have become insulated in our selected networks of like-minded people with no links to “the other side.” There was a “fracture” in our information environment where we constantly reinforced our views and opinions with other like-minded people. Until the end, we thought the polls reflected the likely outcome of this year’s election.  We now know polls were off in predicting the likely winner of this year’s presidential election partly because they underrepresented likely Trump voters in their sampling and partly because the respondents were not truthful in expressing their preference, in particular, in expressing their support for Trump.

Read Ahn’s full blog posted by the Brookings Institution.

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