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Have you ever noticed, and hard to miss, that election races “tighten” as we get closer to the actual vote counting? Ever wonder why?


And, if you are really paying attention, have you noticed that the “tightening” almost always narrows the gap between the two main party candidates IN FAVOR OF THE REPUBLICAN? 


Not all polls, but many, and particularly those that are sponsored by major news organizations like cable, networks or newspapers. 


Why is that? 


Simple, the only poll that pollsters will get graded on after the election is the final poll they publish in that race. Period, end of discussion. A pollster could do monthly or weekly polls, heck, daily tracking polls, and the only one that will be compared to the actual election result is the final published poll. 


Now, if you are keeping track, you know that this is part economics, part resource commitment and, if you are the suspicious type, part ideology.


For economics and resource commitment, the fewer people you have to try to contact, the cheaper and easier it is to run a poll. Thus, polls of “adults” are the cheapest because any adult can satisfy that requirement. “Registered Voters” requires more contacts as not all adults are registered. And “Likely Voters” are the most involved as the pollster has to divine the likelihood any contact will vote. 


But, then there is the ideological component to polling that starts with the above. First, when during the week or even time of day that the contacts are made makes a difference. Polls taken during the week tend to catch more liberal people as well as those who do not work (unemployed, retired, etc. ). Same goes for daytime dials versus evening. Any poll that does not cover a weekend will skew more liberal. 


Further, as has been shown in studies, the further one goes down that adult>registered>likely grading, the less liberal the respondents tend to be. Thus, polls of Adults taken six months out from an election will have a very different demo than those of Likely Voters six days before. 


And then there is the massaging of the data to make it conform to demographics and/or assumed turnout models. While conforming to demographics is pretty straight forward, using census data for age, gender, race and geography, there is some margin for mischief there.


It is when pollsters start to “adjust” for party identification and possible turnout, that “games” can be played with the numbers. As I have pointed out, national polls of Congressional party preference that have Dems weighted at 10-12% higher than GOP are just false, based on any sort of party registration or historical voter turnout model. That was the issue I had with that CNN poll that had D+12%.


But what happens when we get into the last week? First, pollsters have to start setting up for the final poll, which usually runs for two or three days prior to the election. If they want their poll discussed on the Sunday shows, they have to canvass Thursday-Saturday and get the results out in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Otherwise, they can go Friday-Sunday and report out on Monday. 


Pollsters like to tell us that the “uncertain”, “not sure” or “don’t know” people made their final decisions. But exit polls and post-election polls have shown that more of those undecideds turned into non-voters than made a decision and voted. 


So it is those final polls that they get graded on and have to be as close to an accurate depiction as the pollster can bring himself to report. Gone are the soon-to-be-forgotten polls of the past weeks or month, so it is gut time. And, if they don’t want to get ridiculed, their “massaging” takes on a slightly different tone than it did before. Yet, if you call them on it, they will say they used early voting and other enthusiasm indicators to “fine tune” their methodology. 


Now, if it is not clear, I AM a polling skeptic and I think the Liberal Media uses polling to try to buoy the spirits and turnout of the Left and tries to do just the opposite to the Right. And it happens EVERY cycle, including in the 2016 presidential race. 


Remember how the 2016 race “tightened” into the closing days? How HRC’s run-away became a more modest “she will win” as Trump’s numbers rose. No one wanted to focus on that, except right-leaning Media, but many of the Liberal Media did mention it later. Heck, I heard it this week on Morning Joe in reference to the Gillum juggernaut which someone was questioning.


So, it is happening this cycle? You betcha! How many times have you heard about tightening races over the past few days? How many Dem leads have narrowed, or GOP support has risen? Menendez anyone? Donnelly? Gillum? Heck, the CT governor’s race is now tight. 


Mark my words here, and feel free to come back and show me that i was wrong, if I am:


The polls released over the next few days will mostly, not entirely, show races tightening with the trailing GOP closing the gap




Races with a leading GOP see a widening in their lead.  


Lastly, I expect there to be one or more real surprises on Wednesday morning. That will be seats where the result was considered “safe” that turns out to have been a squeaker or a flip. Devin Nunes is one of those I will watch. Heck, DiFi, while ahead by 15%, it not over 50%. There are others out there, particularly in under-polled House races. The political intelligencia made this election all about some key 40-70 seats and pollsters focused on those, but that does not mean surprises can’t happen. 

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OK, want to see just the opposite of the above? Cook was the subject of another post and I mentioned then that calling him "nonpartisan" is a bit creative. Also, Cook was a pretty conventional 2016 thinker having HRC taking 300+ EC votes. 



Cook Political Report outlook: Democrats gain 30-40 seats in House, up from 25-35

A political analyst updated his outlook for the House just days before midterm elections, giving the Democrats an even greater edge over Republicans hoping to maintain power.


Dave Wasserman, who is House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, tweeted Wednesday that their forecast was being updated, predicting that Democrats gain 30-40 seats, up from 25-35 seats.


Wasserman added that this prediction could change before the Nov. 6 midterm elections. 

The forecast suggests a so-called "blue wave" is more becoming more likely. Democrats need to flip 23 seats to take control of the lower chamber.


In the Senate, which the GOP also controls, 24 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats, are up for re-election. Nine Republicans are up for re-election. Only one seat, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's, D-N.D., is rated anything below "toss-up" at "lean-R," according to Cook Political Report.


RealClearPolitics gives Democrats a smaller edge in the House than Cook, factoring in a number of toss ups. Their latest House elections map shows Democrats taking 203 seats versus 198 for Republicans. Thirty-four races are listed in the "toss ups" category.


Generic ballot polls also bode well for Democrats. RealClearPolitics' aggregate for the 2018 generic congressional vote gives a 7.5-percentage point advantage to Democrats. Also, one of the few polls that favored President Trump to win the 2016 election is now forecasting a strong general ballot for Democrats, showing them leading Republicans by 17 points.


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Larry Sabato is pretty much a straight shooter, though I think he pulls slightly to port. That said, see what he does below, or at least his staffer? Predicting the Dems to take 29 seats and control the House, but hedging. That is how they do it, with a final note released on Monday if they feel that it is even closer, or if he sees the Dems “sputtering out”. 


Sabato: Dems should win House majority, but warns of 11th hour ‘sputtering out’

by Paul Bedard | November 01, 2018 02:00 PM

The Democrats should win the House majority with room to spare in Tuesday’s elections, but the prognosticator at the University of Virginia is warning that the party could fall flat and short of the needed 23 seat pickup. 

The school’s Larry J. Sabato Crystal Ball said Thursday that liberals should add 29 seats, but, “not so many more that one could rule out the Democrats sputtering out short of the majority.” 

And the weekly political report also suggested in another report that President Trump and the GOP could beat back history and keep the House. 

“Midterms often feature a decline for the presidential party after a surge in the House in the presidential year. But Republicans enjoyed no surge in 2016, which could limit their decline this year,” said the second report. 

“A model based on history and the dynamics of surge and decline suggests Republicans should lose House seats, but they remain well-positioned to hold the House majority. However, certain factors not included in the model, like a new House map in Pennsylvania and a high number of Republican retirements, could cause the model to understate GOP exposure in the House,” it added.

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Ok, this one is a doozy and is likely an outlier given polls had been running Kemp +2%. But this, +12%, puts Kemp over 50% for the first time:





ETA: After positing this I noticed the (R) after Trafalgar so it must be s GOP pollster. Keep salt shaker nearby. 


Edited by tomkaz

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A whole bunch of polls yesterday in different areas, standalone because some are outliers, that show races tightening with the Democrat creeping closer or breaking even with the Republican.


I have not looked at the internals yet but I find the CNN poll of generic congressional preference coming in at Dems +13. The morning Joe crew was all atwitter about this this morning and yet none of them sat there and said how could a differential double in the span of a week or two?. Also, no one in their brain trust, and the insight to ask how much of a difference this makes it 30 million voters have already cast their vote early.


I did find it interesting that the guy from the cook political report did not sound nearly as enthusiastic about the ddms taking the house as the writing from his organization would indicate. He still called a toss up even though cooks officially talking about the Dems taking 30 to 40 seats. 



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9 mins ago, Flybyme said:

Nate has changed his house prediction to 50/50

 No chit! I’m driving to the office can’t look it up right now but if that is the case that is the biggest tell that we will find, and the one that the media will be conspicuous in ignoring. 


ETA: Uh, not seeing that



Edited by tomkaz

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 So I’m listening to Chuck Todd on MTP daily on MSNBC and I gotta tell ya he’s pulling some punches on wheather there’s a blue wave or not. 

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