I’m running out of ways to say “I told you so,” but another piece of empirical evidence released on Monday points in that direction.
Back in August, in the midst of all the “Democrats are surging” talk, Monmouth put out a poll showing Democrats up seven points. Their latest iteration? Republicans are now leading by two points. When adjusted for registered voters, the swing is D+3 to R+2.
Who could have possibly foreseen this?!
NATIONAL POLL: Which party do Americans want in control of Congress?
11% not matter, but lean GOP
10% not matter, but lean DEM
8% not matter, no leanhttps://t.co/YXPw36C53D pic.twitter.com/rseBJ1lYCf
— MonmouthPoll (@MonmouthPoll) October 3, 2022
To put things into a broader context, here’s what the overall polling situation looks like over the last two weeks with a little added commentary by yours truly.
Me in August: "Summer polling is historically trash. Ignoring the fundamentals is foolhardy."
Libs: "ThAtS JuSt CoPe, DeMs ArE ReSuRgEnT"
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) October 3, 2022
This is why you don’t ignore the fundamentals to latch onto low-turnout special elections in areas that favor Democrats (namely, higher educated suburbs). History tells us that parties in power get shellacked in their first mid-term of a new presidency. Primary turnout, which has been a dead-on predictor the last four cycles, has also heavily favored the GOP, even after Dobbs was released and supposedly became a big issue.
Further, summer polling in general is just trash. You can go back multiple cycles and find that the polling industry consistently overestimates Democrat support during the summer months. For example, in 2014, a wave year for Republicans, the GOP didn’t take the generic ballot lead until October.
Add in the fact that polls have consistently overstated Democrat support up to Election Day as well, if to a slightly smaller degree than summer polling, and you have all the makings of a possible red wave. A month ago, those in the smart set were insisting that was off the table, with the GOP possibly only gaining the House by a few seats. Now, it’s beginning to look more likely than not.
Again, this is why you don’t ignore the fundamentals and electoral history to cling to D+8 polls and special elections in Washington before the leaves even start to change. Anyone who did that was setting themselves up for disappointment, and they can’t say that we didn’t try to warn them.