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  • Scott Iseman

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

There's a big debate about quality of election polls. Both sides have good points, and a track record of success and failure. But in too many election races these days, where races are competitive, polling quality can be poor and partisan.

In November 2021, a handful of pollsters saw a red wave coming, and a potential win for Glenn Youngkin in his bid to become Governor of Virginia. Network and partisan polls missed by a mile. That November 2021 red wave crested not only in Virginia, but in both New Jersey and New York rattling the Democratic establishment.

I don't mind election forecasters getting an election wrong, as long as it's within reason. What's wrong with election industry polling is threefold:

1. Too many pollsters don't poll competently, missing key demographic segments, then the political establishment floats these published polls as supposedly credible evidence of success for their political side; hijacking the narrative on false data.

2. There is a partisan polling and corporate agenda problem, and can often see this in network and cable news polls that overstate support for one side or another. Usually in Democrat races, like Fox News is notorious at doing.

3. Aggregated polling (like Real Clear Politics, 538) references frequent Democrat bias pollsters to project a generic ballot average that isn't likely going to become reality.

Based on track record of election wins, or near wins, I'm more confident in polling from Trafalgar, Rasmussen Reports, People's Pundit, Emerson, and a few others, who either nail elections near right on, or forecast it close enough. These pollsters take the time, money, and care to tap into the electorate, and report their polling that usually stands up as fairly credible once the election is over.

After Labor Day, more honest polling will better narrow 2022 Midterms down, as pollsters shift from registered voters to likely voters in their samples. In the polling industry, everyone knows likely voters are more likely to partipate in elections, and this shift in likely voter polling for the general election season could add 1-3+ points to a pollster spread.

On Presidential approval, President Biden has enjoyed some rough polling trends for the last year, with approval ratings often in the 30% range.

Rasmussen Reports saw Biden's approval improving before anyone in the last 2 weeks, which is typical for Rasmussen, and they've been spotting trends first for years. As of Friday, Rasmussen has Biden's approval at 44%. This is important because a President's approval rating historically correlates to how well the President and his party does in Midterm or in Presidential elections.

With 2-1/2 months until Midterms, today's polling averages tell us Republicans are likely going to take control of the House, but Democrats are favored to win the Senate.

  • Scott Iseman

The long accepted technical defintion of a 'recession' is negative growth for two consecutive quarters. This benchmark was met in Q2 reporting in July, but half the mainstream media suddenly decided to change the definition of a recession to suit a political agenda.

With Q3 reporting coming up in October just before Midterms, not unreasonable to expect another economic contraction, especially with the Federal Reserve hiking rates, and possibly more to come.

Yesterday, the New York Fed's Empire State Manufacturing Survey plummeted to -31.3, showing orders and shipments tanking, and inventories moving higher. The second worst drop on record.

Over the weekend it was reported that Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan chief executive said on a call that he sees:

Only a 10% chance of an economic slowdown that doesn’t lead to a recession, while ominously warning there are 20-30% odds of “something worse”.

That leaves the nation heading into a continued period of economic uncertainty, but hoping for the best.

  • Scott Iseman

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

In November 2021, with COVID restrictions and education two hot issues, a red wave crested over Virginia, with Republicans winning local races into New Jersey and parts of New York, rattling the Democratic establishment.

With high inflation, and declining gas prices, Is there still a red wave looming for 2022 Midterms? August polling says no, but primary numbers show Republicans turning out to vote stronger than Democrats.

One downside of internet era elections are spectators staring at aggregate polling sites, prediction markets, looking at ratings changes on congressional seats, and reading into special elections; with everyone getting caught up in speculation.

After Labor Day, polling is expected to improve and electoral trends should become more clear, but in the end, it comes down to turnout through election day on November 8.

Consensus thinking today is Republicans would win the House, and Democrats are slight favorites to hold the Senate.

Update: Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics published this piece, What Washington State's Primaries Predict for the Midterms, and concludes with:

It seems to suggest that the environment for Republicans is better than it was in 2020 and is certainly consistent with them winning control of the House and being positioned to take the Senate.

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