Evidence suggests that political polls tend to undercount Democrats

Republicans have complained from time to time that polls are biased against them, but now there’s evidence that the opposite might actually be the case. It could be that many of the major polling outfits are undercounting Democrats. Nate Cohn has a long piece on this matter HERE: Polls show that the Republicans have an advantage in the fight for control of the Senate. They lead in enough states to win control, and they have additional opportunities in North Carolina and New Hampshire to make up for potential upsets. As Election Day...

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Does either party have momentum going into the mid-term elections?

George H.W. Bush called it “the Big Mo” and  saw it  as a portent of his eventual victory in the presidential election of 1988. He was referring, of course, to his feeling that momentum was on his side as Election Day drew near. But, while Bush’s sense of momentum was correct, there have been other instances where Big Mo was just an illusion. For example, Mitt Romney and more than a few of his supporters thought that momentum was on his side at this point  two years ago. They were wrong. As this year’s mid-term U.S. ...

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A poll of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans almost always is worthless

Chuck Sweeny made a good point the other day in a front-page story in the Rockford Register Star about a recent poll on the Illinois gubernatorial race between Republican challenger Bruce Rauner and Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn. Sweeny warned readers against complaining that the poll at issue had more Democratic respondents than Republicans. This is a common beef among people who don’t understand the science of polling. These folks seem to think any poll that doesn’t include equal numbers of Democratic and Republican respondents is...

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Polling analyst Nate Silver says Democrats needn’t push the panic button — not yet, anyway

Celebrated numbers-cruncher Nate Silver says the FiveThirtyEight model on which he bases his political forecasts still indicates a close race for control of the U.S. Senate after the November midterm elections. Silver, like most other polling analysts, says Senate control will pivot on the outcome of elections in a handful of states. Democrats are not sitting as pretty as they were a few weeks, he notes, but it’s not yet time for them to push the panic button. Silver EXPLAINS: [T]here’s still a lot of campaigning to do, and one should...

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Most reputable polling analysts see a decline in GOP chances of a Senate takeover

As recently as July, the Republican Party was an odds-on favorite to gain control of the U.S. Senate in this year’s mid-term elections. Some professional handicappers still think it’s likely that the GOP will win a majority of Senate seats, but there is far less certainty in their recent forecasts. Take, for example, what celebrated number-cruncher Nate Silver is SAYING: When we officially launched our forecastg model two weeks ago, it had Republicans with a 64 percent chance of taking over the Senate after this fall’s elections....

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