Why outlier polls are a good thing

Earlier this week, the Democratic race for president was seemingly rocked by a Monmouth University poll showing former Vice President Joe Biden falling from 32% to 19%.

The poll, which had Biden in a virtual tie with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was an outlier compared to the polling average, as well as to an CNN/SRSS poll conducted during nearly the same period. Later polls, such as one from Quinnipiac University, confirmed that Biden still leads the Democratic race with about 30% support.

While some have suggested (including Biden’s own pollster) that Monmouth should not have released the results, I have the opposite view. Monmouth should have put the poll out there, and it’s the job of the media to put every poll in its proper context.