The election results looked a lot different than the pollsters predicted.
Pat Roberts was supposed to lose … he won by a comfortable margin.
Joni Ernst “might” eek out win … she romped.
Mark Warner was supposed to be popping champagne corks by 8 o’clock … he got less than 50% and the VA race hasn’t been officially called yet.
Nate Silver’s 535 has nailed the symptoms … but not the cause.
Bottom line: Silver’s crew observes that there was an average 4-point polling bias in favor of the Dems ….
By polling bias, they mean the difference between the polled margin and the actual result.
“For instance, a poll that projects the Democrat to win by 7 points when she actually wins by just 3 has a 4-point Democratic bias.”
Why did it happen?
The popular view is that polling firms have a hard time forecasting turnout ratios.
So, they might over or under-sample one party’s loyalists.
For example, if fewer Dems show up at the polls than was expected, the polls projections will have a Dem bias.
Vice versa for the GOP.
Another rationale proffered by 535 is that pollsters may be “herding” — that is tweaking their results to mirror other pollsters results rather than being independent.
For example, “A fly-by-night pollster using a dubious methodology can look up the polls of polls and massage their assumptions so as to match it — but sometimes the polling consensus is wrong.”
In other words, they simply cook the books rather letting the numbers speak for themselves.
Silver does point out that the polling bias seems to swing from one party to the other … and is tought to preddict
Speaking of losers…
The Wash Post headlined: “What did Tom Steyer get for his $70 million?”
You know, he’s the billionaire venture capitalist who pledged to throw up to $100 million supporting Dem candidates.
I think it’s safe to say that this investment may have diluted his portfolio ROI a bit …
And, while we’re on the subject, what about the money that Hollywood’s movers and shakers threw down sink holes:
Led by DreamWorks Animation studio Chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, Hollywood progressives went financially all-in for Democrats in 2014. Progressives gave to races at all levels of government, but according to the Hollywood Reporter their biggest investment was the $2.5 million donated last quarter to Allison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) to defeat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Other Democrats in Senate races that also received lavish Tinseltown cash included Michelle Nunn in Georgia and sitting Senators Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Udall in Colorado, and Mark Begich in Alaska. All of them were soundly vanquished by Republicans. Source
P.S. Did you know that 28 of the Senators who voted for ObamaCare are now gone? Source
I think that’s called “walking the plank” …