Poll­sters cor­rectly call House flip, botch key state races.

Turnout mod­els over­count Democrats

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROWAN SCAR­BOR­OUGH

Poll­sters on Tues­day avoided their dis­as­trous 2016 elec­tion fore­casts by cor­rectly pre­dict­ing that Democrats would re­gain con­trol of the House, though botch­ing some im­por­tant statewide races.

Un­like 2016, when po­lit­i­cal gu­rus at The New York Times, The Wash­ing­ton Post and other me­dia said Pres­i­dent Trump had lit­tle or no chance of win­ning, sur­vey­ors this time cap­tured vot­ing in blue-state con­gres­sional dis­tricts where a num­ber of Repub­li­can seats flipped.

But poll­sters did not fully re­deem them­selves for the sins of 2016 when they col­lec­tively botched Trump wins in Wis­con­sin, Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia. There were glar­ing sur­vey er­rors in 2018 as turnout mod­els over-counted Democrats. By Tues­day night, Repub­li­cans had won im­por­tant Se­nate and gov­er­nor races.

Some big misses a week be­fore vot­ing:

● Florida gov­er­nor. The last 10 polls had pegged Demo­cratic Tal­la­has­see Mayor An­drew Gil­lum the win­ner. But for­mer Rep. Ron DeSan­tis won by 0.7 per­cent­age points. While some wrong polls lay within the mar­gin of er­ror, Quin­nip­iac Col­lege in New York picked Mr. Gil­lum to win by 7 points. The St. Peters­burg poll, NBC/Marist, Emer­son Col­lege and the Uni­ver­sity of Florida had Mr. Gil­lum win­ning by 4 to 6 points.

● Florida Se­nate. Nearly ev­ery late sur­vey picked Demo­cratic Sen. Bill Nel­son to re­tain his seat. He lost to GOP Gov. Rick Scott by 0.4 per­cent­age points. Again, Quin­nip­iac was way off, pre­dict­ing a 7-point Nel­son win. Emer­son Col­lege also botched it, say­ing Mr. Nel­son would win by 5 points. The St. Peters­burg poll nailed the race at a 1 per­cent­age-point Scott vic­tory.

● Mis­souri Se­nate. Sev­eral polls missed Repub­li­can Josh Haw­ley’s 6 per­cent­age-point win against Demo­cratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. NBC/Marist had her up by 3 points. Emer­son and the Repub­li­can firm Trafal­gar cor­rectly saw the Haw­ley win, at 3 and 4 per­cent­age points, re­spec­tively.

● Ge­or­gia gov­er­nor. Trafal­gar badly over­es­ti­mated Repub­li­can Brian Kemp’s fi­nal tally. An out­lier in this race, the com­pany said Mr. Kemp would de­feat Demo­crat Stacey Abrams by 12 points. He won by 1.6 per­cent. Emer­son and the At­lanta Con­sti­tu­tion were spot on.

● Ne­vada Se­nate. Trafal­gar missed this race, fore­cast­ing a 3 per­cent­age-point win for GOP Sen. Dean Heller. Demo­crat Jacky Rosen won by 5 points.

● In­di­ana Se­nate. Fox News badly missed here, pre­dict­ing an easy win for Demo­cratic Sen. Joe Don­nelly against Repub­li­can Mike Braun. Fox said Mr. Don­nelly would win by 7 per­cent­age points. He lost by 7.8 points, mean­ing Fox was off by 14 points. NBC/Marist also saw a Don­nelly win, by 3 points.

● Ari­zona Se­nate. Again NBC/Marist was off, say­ing Demo­crat Kirsten Sinema would win by 6 per­cent­age points; CNN said by 4 points. Repub­li­can Rep. Martha McSally is lead­ing by 2.2 per­cent­age points, but a large num­ber of mail-in bal­lots are still to be counted.

● Ohio gov­er­nor. A num­ber of fore­cast­ers botched this race. For­mer Sen. Mike DeWine beat Demo­crat Richard Cor­dray by 4.3 per­cent­age points. NBC/ Marist’s last poll had it a tie. Quin­nip­iac had Mr. Cor­dray up by 2 points, Emer­son by 3 and Gravis by 5 in their fi­nal polls. Some ac­cu­rate pre­dic­tions:

● U.S. House. Prog­nos­ti­ca­tors got a lim­ited blue wave cor­rect as Democrats picked up more than 30 seats. ABC News spe­cial cor­re­spon­dent Nate Sil­ver, who gave Mr. Trump lit­tle chance to be­come pres­i­dent two years ago, put the odds of a takeover at 88 per­cent.

Noted po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Char­lie Cooke man­gled the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race, say­ing on NBC News that Mr. Trump was lead­ing the GOP to a dis­as­ter. On Elec­tion Eve, he said Hil­lary Clin­ton would win by “a re­ally big num­ber.” He said Democrats would win four Se­nate seats to dead­lock the cham­ber at 50-50, which they didn’t. He said Repub­li­can Sens. Ron John­son of Wis­con­sin and Pat Toomey of Penn­syl­va­nia would lose, which they didn’t.

This time, he ac­cu­rately pre­dicted that a grow­ing num­ber of Repub­li­can seats were vul­ner­a­ble.

● Ten­nessee gov­er­nor. Late in the game, most sur­veys pre­dicted a big win for GOP Rep. Mar­sha Black­burn over for­mer Gov. Phil Bre­dessen. Fox News and Emer­son were cen­ter-cut at 9 and 8 per­cent­age-point spreads, re­spec­tively. East Ten­nessee State Uni­ver­sity had a clunker, say­ing the race was tied.

● Ge­or­gia gov­er­nor. Vir­tu­ally ever poll had the Stacey Abrams gov­er­nor’s race as a nail-bit­ter.

● West Vir­ginia Se­nate. Emer­son cor­rectly pre­dicted Demo­cratic Sen. Joe Manchin would win by 5 per­cent­age points. He beat Repub­li­can Pa­trick Mor­risey by 3.2 points.

● Texas Se­nate. Poll­sters cap­tured the Se­nate win­ner in ev­ery poll as Nov. 6 neared. Repub­li­can Sen. Ted Cruz won by 2.6 per­cent­age points over me­dia fa­vorite Demo­cratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Emer­son nailed it at 3 points.

● New Jer­sey, Min­nesota, Michi­gan Se­nate. Poll­sters saw that Demo­cratic Se­nate in­cum­bents would win go­ing away, though new­comer John James, a Repub­li­can, stayed re­spectable at 6 per­cent­age-point loss in Michi­gan.


Demo­cratic can­di­date An­drew Gil­lum was pegged by 10 polls to win the Florida gu­ber­na­to­rial elec­tion on Tues­day, but he lost by 10.7 per­cent­age points.

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