FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
It was one of the biggest misses by the polls ever. They all saw Hillary Clinton losing to Barack Obama, and they were all wrong. As late as nine o'clock the night of the New Hampshire Primary, people inside the Clinton campaign were still saying they expected Hillary to lose.
So what happened? Some possible explanations from the pollsters suggest record turnouts produced a different electorate than expected. There's the idea that while the polls accurately showed Obama's support among independents, they didn't reflect the large Democratic turnout helping Clinton.
Others point to the fact that almost 20% of voters made up their minds on primary day and most of the polling had stopped before then.
There are those who suggest race may have played a role. The head of the Pew Research Center says poorer, less-educated New Hampshire voters may not have wanted to admit to pollsters that they wouldn't vote for Obama, a black candidate.
And, of course, there were the last-minute events on the campaign trail itself, including Clinton's emotional moment in that diner on Monday.
Regardless of why it happened, the polling industry – as well as the news media which rely heavily on polls – were all left looking pretty stupid. And it raises the issue of how heavily anyone should rely on them to begin with.
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Steve from New York writes:
I never believed the polls to begin with. They take too small of a sample size with such a small margin of error. To be honest, I have no idea how one poll is consistent with the next. I think these polls are a fabricated sham.
Jeff from Overland Park, Kansas writes:
Right up until the end in New Hampshire, I checked the polls on an almost hourly basis. I have not listened to, looked at or looked for a political poll since. Does that answer your question?
Chris from Thousand Oaks, California writes:
I believe it comes down to what voters will admit to. I believe Hillary is a "guilty pleasure" for some people and they just didn't want to admit to voting for her. As much as people say they want change, change is scary. The fact that Hillary wont change anything is comforting to some people who are unhappy with the current situation but don't want to risk it getting worse.
I don't see any reason why not to trust the polls: they were accurate for the Republicans, and the Iowans responded and admitted they were voting for a black candidate in Iowa. I think the answer might be that there was something
wrong with the machines used in New Hampshire.
I don’t think we should look at polls the same way again. I believe what happened in N.H. shows people are "closeted". When you go to the caucuses in Iowa, your neighbors and friends get to see who you are voting for. In N.H., you are behind the curtain. I think many more people like Hillary Clinton than let on—especially men.
Forget the polls, I don't even trust the vote.
Peter from Halifax, Nova Scotia writes:
You know what little dogs do to polls.
I think they hired Hans Blix to do the polling and he couldn't find the Hillary supporters.