Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight (Image: Supplied)

After yet another polling miss, is it time to ask: what’s their point? Have they just become a journalistic bulk-weight, filling up space, drawing attention, taking up time?

Sure. They retain their value as emotional insurance in an age of uncertainty. Better than a psychiatrist, really. Over the past year, they’ve soothed the world that everything would be OK, that as Joe Biden says repeatedly, “America is better than this”.

They’re like modern morality plays, bulking out the media product with comfort readers crave. No wonder media outlets here and around the world are keen to put their brands on them and pay the cost.