Quote of the Week: "If the pollsters get it wrong this time, they’re done. The industry is done. The profession is done."
- Famed pollster Frank Luntz
Quote of the Week: “The House looks likely to see Republicans lose a few more seats on top of the 40 they dropped in 2018. If the over/under is 10 seats, I tend to come down on the higher side. The Senate is increasingly less a case of whether Democrats will take a majority, but how large will it be.”
- Political “expert” Charlie Cook, 11/3/20
In This Issue:
- They’re Done;
- Money Can’t Buy Love – or Elections;
- Splitting Votes.
One of the major takeaways from the 2020 election is that the political “experts” are done. They’ve killed their profession. Whether by calumny or incompetence, these people got it wrong – yet again, by making calls for a “blue wave” and boosting the prospects of Democrats that turned out to be either a big lie or an honest miscalculation by orders of magnitude.
This publication could fill many pages of commentary with the massive polling errors that prevailed during the campaign. Overall, the polls consistently showed Biden leading Trump in key battleground states. They were all wrong. While we don’t know the outcome as of this writing, we do know that the pollsters have no credibility nor do the political talking heads who called this election for Biden and Team Socialism. They got it wrong on every level.
Consider the RealClear Politics polling average versus the results in select states:
Florida: RCP average of Biden +1. Result: Trump +3.5
Wisconsin: RCP average Biden +6.7. Result: Biden +0.7.
Iowa: RCP average Trump +0.2. Result: Trump +8.2.
Texas: RCP average Trump 1.3. Result Trump +5.8
Remember that these are polling averages. Many polls were downright ridiculous, such as the New York Times poll in very late October that showed Biden at +11 in Wisconsin.
In the Senate, the polling was just as bad.
In Maine, not ONE poll showed Republican Susan Collins ahead. The most recent poll in that state showed her opponent ahead +6. She won.
In North Carolina, not one recent poll showed Republican Thom Tillis with the lead. He is poised to win.
In Iowa, Republican Joni Ernst beat the RCP average by +5.2 to win re-election.
In the generic vote for Congress, once again, every poll had Democrats ahead, for an RCP average of +7. The pundits had Dems picking up between 5-15 seats.
The reality is that Republicans have gained at least six seats in the U.S. House and will likely pick up at least 10.
The media was even worse, clearly dropping all pretense of objectivity over the past four years in order to attack President Trump and Republicans. We have witnessed the death of polling, political commentary, and the legacy media, regardless of the presidential outcome.
MONEY CAN’T BUY LOVE – OR ELECTIONS
Ever increasing sums of money are spent on elections, but this cycle takes the cake.
Truly, the amount of money expended shocks the conscience. Of course, most of this money was spent by Democrats and their aligned partners in slime.
The amounts these groups spent in futility are amazing to behold and demonstrates the long-accepted economic principle of marginal value.
Consider the amounts of money spent in futility in MN and the country.
$107 million to lose in SC (Senate seat)
$88 million to lose in KY (Senate seat)
$48 million to lose in ME (Senate seat)
$47 million to lose in IA (Senate seat)
$42 million to lose in MT (Senate seat)
$24 million to lose TX (Senate seat)
Here in Minnesota, Democrats spent:
$1.1 million to lose in SD 34
$1 million to lose in SD 26
$1 million to lose in SD 39
$880,000 to lose in SD 25
$580,000 to lose in SD 38
One fascinating takeaway from election night is that voters in Minnesota and around the country split their tickets on a variety of issues and races.
Here in Minnesota, Joe Biden and Tina Smith delivered decisive victories for the DFL but there was no coattail benefit to Democrats down ballot.
Collin Peterson was ousted by 13 points in congressional district 7.
Jim Hagedorn won re-election in the First District.
The GOP held the state Senate.
The GOP made big gains in the House, and didn’t see a single incumbent lose re-election while the GOP also held every open seat where a Republican retired.
In many critical races, Biden’s margins didn’t help the Democrat down ballot.
In SD 34, GOP senator Warren Limmer won by 2 points even though Biden carried the district by 8.
In Rochester, Sen. Carla Nelson won even though Biden won the district.
The same is true in SD 39, where Karin Housley won even though Biden carried her district by a narrow margin.
In New Hampshire, Biden carried the state while the state House and Senate were flipped to the GOP.
In Maine, Biden won comfortable while Republican senator Susan Collins won re-election is a surprise that no pundit saw.
In California, voters overwhelmingly went for Biden but rejected an affirmative action ballot initiative.
In Illinois, Biden won big but voters rejected an income tax increase.
In South Dakota, Trump and Republicans won while voters also approved a constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Perhaps the overall lesson here is that the nation fundamentally wants centrist government and the mixed verdicts are evidence of that.