Tags: midterms | elections | house | senate | polls

Polls Show House or Senate in Play for Midterms, But Not Both

Polls Show House or Senate in Play for Midterms, But Not Both
(Jason Kolenda/Dreamstime.com)

By
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 02:08 PM Current | Bio | Archive

BISMARCK, ND — Two years ago I was in South Dakota urging support for an anti-corruption measure and correctly predicting Donald Trump's popular vote loss but election win — and both won. It is now deja vu as I inform North Dakota voters about the importance of passing Measure 1, the anti-corruption measure here, and am asked about the different results pollsters get on the Senate race here and others throughout the country.

The 800 polls run in September and October can be broken into two groups; CNN and five other pollsters whose results point to a blue wave in the House and close battle for the Senate, and 2) the New York Times and hundreds of other polls that instead point to a red wave in the Senate and close battle for the House. Here is the breakdown.

Those who believe "polling doesn't work anymore" are wrong — polling almost always gets us within a couple of points of the final result. Two months before Donald Trump's election I examined state-by-state polls in The Washington Post and CNN's debate polls and correctly predicted that Trump would lose the popular vote by 3 percent (he lost by 2.1) but win the presidency with 290+ electoral votes. I did this by making a minor adjustment to their results based on considerations from years of running campaigns (see the blog on my Trump prediction here).

Occasionally a huge gap exists, such as in September when CNN polled President Trump’s net favorable at NEGATIVE 24, but every other pollster showed him at least 13 points better. However, in most cases, there is just a few points difference in the average of what I will call the "Big 6 polls" (CNN, the original three networks, Quinnipiac, and Monmouth) who use a model of a bit lower Republican turnout than what I will call the "other 700 polls."

In the past year I've met and emailed with David Chalian, CNN's political director who often crunches the numbers, and he and every other major pollster and pundit want to get it right — they just have slightly different expectations in their turnout models, which slightly tweaks the breakdown of voters they poll.

For the average voter trying to follow so many different polls, here is the breakdown of races.

House of Representatives (235-200 Democrats, or split 218-217)

We do not have space to go through all of the House races, but the "Big 6 pollsters" and Nate Silver indicate the Democrats could leave election night with about a 235-200 margin in the House. However, the breakdown here of individual House races polled by The New York Times and many of the other 700 polls show a 218-217 race to the wire for control of the House.

Republicans Three Surest Bets to Get to at Least 50-50 in the Senate

Since the Kavanaugh testimony, the Republicans in Tennessee, Texas, and North Dakota moved to at least five point leads and in this case there is no contrary polling from the Big 6 pollsters, so the GOP looks relatively certain to get to at least 50 seats and control the Senate with the vote of Vice President Pence if needed.

Getting from 50 to 52 - GOP takes Missouri and Nevada

Polling by the Big 6 pollsters suggest the GOP will have trouble getting past 50 seats, but the average of other polls show them moving ahead in Missouri and Nevada to be very likely to get to at least 52 seats. Here are the tables comparing if the Republicans are ahead (a positive number) or behind (a negative number indicates the Democrats are ahead). For example, CNN's late poll showed the Republican behind by 2.0 percent in Missouri and behind by 3.5 percent in Nevada. However, the average of all other polls shows the Republican slightly ahead in both states both in September and in October.

Missouri

September

October

CNN

-2.0

Other Polls

1.4

2.0

Nevada

September

October

CNN

-3.5

Other Polls

1.2

0.4

GOP Getting to 55 Senators

Likewise, other polls show the GOP moving ahead in Indiana and Florida, and in the latter half of October in Arizona to give them three more wins to get to 55. However, in the CNN and another "big 6 pollster" Quinnipiac indicated the Democrats should hold these states.

Arizona

September

October

Other Polls

-3.0

-0.9

Florida

September

October

CNN

-4.5

Other Polls

-2.0

1.8

Quinnipiac

-3.5

-6.0

Indiana Senate

September

October

Other Polls

-0.4

+0.3

Topping the Ceiling of 55 Senators

While other pollsters agree with the Big 6 pollsters that Democrats are winning all other Senate races to give the GOP a ceiling of 55, the other pollsters do show Republicans within single digits in Montana, Minnesota, New Jersey, West Virginia, and even in one recent poll in Michigan. Therefore an extremely optimistic Republican might hope for as many as 60 seats, just as a wildly optimistic Democrats can still hope the Democrats pull off North Dakota, Texas, and Tennessee to take the Senate 53-47.

Montana

September

October

Other Polls

-5.0

-3.0

Minnesota

September

October

Other Polls

-14.5

-4.5

New Jersey

September

October

Monmouth

-10.7

Other Polls

-4.3

-6.0

Quinnipiac

-11.0

-7.0

West Virginia

September

October

WV all polls

-6.0

-6.8

Other Polls

-6.0

-6.8

In less than two weeks, we will know which model was more accurate. If the turnout is closer to what is expected by CNN and the big 6 pollsters, then it could be a late night before we know who controls the Senate and the Democrats will win the House big. If the model expected by the New York Times and most of the other 700 polls run the last two months is more accurate, then it could be a late night before we know who controls the House and just how many seats Republicans add to their Senate Majority. Either one will lead to an exciting night.

John Pudner is Executive Director of Takeback.org, a non-profit home for Americans seeking true political reform. Our conservative solutions include: stopping illicit foreign money from impacting elections; ending pay-to-play in government contracting; and restoring the Reagan-era federal tax credit for small-dollar political contributions, which will encourage more citizens to become donors and help re-balance the campaign finance system. For more of his reports — Click Here Now.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
JohnPudner
Those who believe "polling doesn't work anymore" are wrong — polling almost always gets us within a couple of points of the final result.
midterms, elections, house, senate, polls
1050
2018-08-24
Wednesday, 24 October 2018 02:08 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved