Arie Kapteyn prides himself on maintaining a certain detachment from the daily hubbub of political debate, so much so that when he had scheduled a speech in Washington months ago, he hadn’t focused on the fact that he would be giving it the day after the election.
And so, as election returns rolled in Tuesday night, proving that the USC/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll he had developed and run was going to be one of the few to call the outcome correctly, the USC economist and expert on public opinion found himself away from home. He watched the results on television in a hotel bar in Washington, surrounded by about 20 drunken Danes who were in the capital to study the election.
“It was an odd experience,” he said in an interview early Wednesday morning once Trump’s victory was clear.
The same might be said for much of the furor that surrounded the Daybreak poll during the campaign. The poll was the only major public survey that consistently showed Donald Trump winning. As a result, it drew frequent and loud denunciations from many Democrats, especially as election day neared and passions rose.
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