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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Ted Cruz’s daddy presumes to educate black folks on the history of civil rights legislation

For years now, I’ve occasionally been treated to distorted arguments from conservative readers who want to remind me that Democrats were the prevailing political force in the segregationist South of 50 years ago. These pseudo-historians ignore the fact that most of the segregationist politicians in the South — Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, for example — switched to the Republican Party when Northern Democrats began pushing for civil rights. They also ignore the fact that the GOP, under Richard Nixon, pointedly...

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Study shows a political shift of sorts as more people move from blue states to red states

The political map of America never stays the same for very long. Attitudes change, and people move around, resulting in different blends of Republican red and Democratic blue in the various states. HERE‘s a look at the changes of late: Over the last few decades, residents of many traditionally liberal states have moved to states that were once more conservative. And this pattern has played an important role in helping the Democratic Party win the last two presidential elections and four of the last six. The growth of the Latino...

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