Research has had very little to say about whether polling predictions of elections outcomes are biased in line with the political bias of the news outlets that commission the polls. This article examines the relationship between news media political bias and bias in the published results of media-sponsored pre-elections polls in the three Israeli elections that took place in 2019–20. Given that these elections were largely referenda on Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption charges–dividing the political system, the media, and the Israeli public into pro-Netanyahu and anti-Netanyahu camps–media political biases are narrowly defined in accordance with news outlets’ general attitudes to the charges. Thus, polling bias is defined as a systematic overestimate or underestimate of the number of parliamentary seats that the bloc of pro-Netanyahu parties will actually receive. It is found that, on average, polls commissioned by anti-Netanyahu media consistently underestimated the number of seats that the pro-Netanyahu bloc would win.
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- Benjamin Netanyahu
- media bias
- political communication
- polling bias
- pre-elections polls
- public opinion