Donald Trump officially became the Republican party’s nominee Thursday night, and on Monday, the Democratic convention begins in Philadelphia. In the coming weeks, you can expect lots of polls — and headlines — suggesting new insight into the state of the presidential race.
With some caveats, our advice is: Don’t pay too much attention to them.
You can see what we mean in the chart above. It shows how much the polling average at each point of a presidential election cycle has differed from the final result. Each gray line represents a presidential election since 1980; the bright green line represents the average difference. In general, as the election nears, the polling average comes closer and closer to the election’s final result — but not for the next few weeks.