Diary

Major Polling Contradictions Continue in Several key Senate Races

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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We are heading down the home stretch. You can tell (aside from looking at a calendar) because the media have went full-court press on attempting to suppress Republican turnout. Whether it’s more Andrew Gillum puff pieces, even as he’s embroiled in investigations of probable criminal conduct, or countless articles assuring us the Republicans can’t hold the house, they are doing their part.

Which brings us to the latest polls and whether they mean much of anything.

In the Arizona Senate contest, we are seeing widely contradictory results.

According to CNN, pink-tutu wearing, Arizona hating Krysten Sinema is up +4 in their latest offering. Fox News has it at a tie. But wait, Reuters has Martha McSally up +2 and ABC 15 has her up +7 (!).

Moving over to Indiana, we are also seeing results all over the place.

CBS News released a poll this week with Mike Braun (R) up +3. Three days later? Fox News has Democrat Joe Donnelly up +7 (!!) in a poll with a Margin of Error of 7 POINTs. I’m not even sure why someone would post a poll with such a ridiculous MOE, but hey, whatever.

In Nevada, CNN has Democrat Rosen up +3, yet Reuters has Republican Heller up +6. A 9 point spread with less than 5 days until election day is just nuts.

Confused yet? Me to. Everyone gets a positive poll and can claim they are winning. That leaves them with essentially no predictive value at this point.

Here’s what’s obvious. State polling is simply hard to do. It’s notoriously unreliable and we’ve seen wild swings in past cycles when it comes to Congressional polling. It’s likely been forgotten by now, but the Republicans were not expected to keep the Senate back in 2016. There were several major upsets that were far outside the “polling average” that handed the GOP continued control of the chamber.

This is the point. Polling has it’s uses, namely to help the parties know where to funnel money. As a predictor of outcomes, it’s shaky at best, especially when it comes to statewide or district races. Some pollsters are going to be right this cycle while others are going to be really, really wrong. Given all the contradictions, that’s the only possible outcome.

Never let polls make you complacent. By the same token, never let polls discourage you. The only result that ultimately matters is on election day and until the (actual) polls close, swings in momentum and turnout are possible. If Republicans turn out, we could very realistically pick up 3-5 Senate seats and solidify the majority. We could also sneak out a win in the House.

But none of that happens if we don’t vote. If you’ve got early voting, go today. Get it done. If you don’t, make your plans now to let your voice be heard on November 6th. Anything can still happen, irregardless of what the “experts” are pontificating, as we aptly learned two years ago.