Political Pundits and Pollsters Miss the Mark — Again

Political Pundits and Pollsters Miss the Mark — Again

Political Pundits and Pollsters Miss the Mark — Again

Going into yesterday’s primary election, pollsters and pundits rubbed their hands together with glee. Their eyes danced and you could see their excitement. Texas, they foresaw, would begin the road back home. We’d see it turning into a purple state if not — and oh how they wished for it — a blue state. But, as with the last election, they missed the mark. Not only did it not turn blue, but it failed to turn purple as well. Oh, they’re sure to put their spin on it but numbers don’t lie. Texas is and will remain, at least for a while longer, a Red State.

Before the polls opened yesterday, you couldn’t turn on a newscast or read a news article without being beat about the head and shoulders with how many more Democrats were voting early than were Republicans. Glee sounded from newsrooms. They said it forecast trouble for the Republican party. Nancy “Crumbs” Pelosi came to town to help stump for her favorite Dems. Others did as well. The refrain of “Poor Ted Cruz” sounded, followed shortly by cackles about how grand it would be to see the President’s support base eroded.

Except numbers don’t lie.

With 99% of the precincts reporting, here’s the breakdown:

  • Votes cast in the Democratic primary for governor – 1,017,150
  • Votes cast in the Democratic primary for U. S. Senate – 1,036,94
  • Votes cast in the Republican primary for U. S. Senate – 1,541,264

So, in the Senate race, there were more than half a million more votes placed on the Republican side than there were on the Democratic side. Where is the bleeding off of voters? Where is the blue tinge?

But let’s break those numbers down a bit more.

So, Senator Cruz received 278,000-plus votes more than the total number of Democratic votes cast in the senate race. He received more than twice as many votes as Beto O’Rourke did. Now, that doesn’t mean the Republicans can sit back and relax. O’Rourke has shown himself to be a master at raising money. Not that Cruz won’t be. No one who knows Texas politics believe Cruz worried too much about the primary. He has already turned up the fire, releasing a new ad even before the results were in last night, an ad that targets liberal O’Rourke.

If there was one surprise in the election, it was the race for governor, at least on the Democratic side. Neither of the top two candidates are well-known across the state. Lupe Valdez is the former Dallas County Sheriff. She is also the first openly gay female political figure Dallas had, at least to the best of my recollection. Andrew White is the son of former Texas governor Mark White. Both had some name recognition but it wasn’t widespread. Now they are headed to a run-off, something that can backfire for the winner because they will have to spend time and money focusing on continuing the primary race instead of squarely taking aim at Governor Abbott.

So how did the pundits and pollsters get it so wrong? How did they miss the numbers as badly as they did?


It comes down to a couple of factors. The first is simple. A number of early polling places had both primaries voting at the same location. You walked in, told the poll workers which primary you wanted to vote in and were then told which side of the room to go to. That made it more difficult to figure out who went where, especially since the media is often precluded from actually seeing into the voting area once the polls open.

Then there’s the simple fact a lot people don’t want to discuss their vote. After all, it is a secret ballot. So, when someone shoves a microphone in their faces, there is the tendency to either say nothing or say the opposite of what you did. Yet that isn’t taken into account when the pollsters pull their numbers together.

Finally, it comes down to what the Dallas Morning News refers to as “a red wall versus a blue wave.” In other words, O’Rourke might give Cruz a run for his money. However, the News isn’t expecting the Dems to make inroads in statewide elections. The numbers seems to support that prediction. So why all the belief there will be this blue wave?

Enthusiasm! At least that’s what Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins believes. Enthusiasm unlike any he’s ever seen in a mid-term election. Hmm. I don’t know about you, but didn’t they say the same thing about the last election? Were the voters all enthused about Hillary? Yet who is sitting in the Oval Office? Perhaps it’s time for the pundits and pollsters to quit believing their own spin and take a long, hard look at what’s really happening out there. Otherwise, they very well might find themselves facing another stunning defeat come November—not that it will disappoint me one bit. So I’ll just prepare for the song and dance they’ll give when the numbers once again don’t support their prognostications.

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  • GWB says:

    It’s a blue wave alright. A blue wave from the cleaner squirted under the rim. They’re going to have to load a lot more pooh into the bowl to get that blue wave high enough to accomplish their goal.

  • robert woods says:

    In Texas many registered Republicans vote in Democratic primaries if there is a candidate of interest running.


    • DJ says:

      I was going to ask if voters could cross party lines to vote. Sounds like you answered my question.

      That greatly increases the difficulty of getting a handle on actual support, but while I can definitely see some Rs voting for the weaker of the Dem candidates, I can’t really see any reason for Ds to support Cruz. If accurate, that means Cruz’ support is even larger than the primary numbers might indicate (when the crossover voters come home to roost in the final election).

  • Skillyboo says:

    Once again the media is exposed. Time and again we are told that polls show a surging democrat wave or the democrat candidate is 10 points ahead. All this is done to convince the voters that they should vote democrat because, Heaven forbid, you back al loser. Fortunately only democrat voters believe that.

  • Ruffin says:

    While I agree with the caution against a “blue wave” please look at Virginia and don’t get complacent. We’re at worst a purple state yet the Dems shellacked us last election, last year. Best case the Dems pick up seats, even if everything goes our way.

    • GWB says:

      Well, if you don’t let the vermin move in, you can stay red (or, at least, reddish-purple). By vermin, I mean all those national gov’t folks living in NorVa – the bureaucrats and the lobbyists. There’s so damn many of them they have infiltrated all the way down to Richmond.

  • Pyrthroes says:

    Eight months to November 6th, and counting.

    We’re on extensive record as projecting a powerful Trump win from Super Tuesday primaries in March 2016. In the event, the maestro won by 306 : 232, a landslide 31.9%, while MzBIll’s legitimate total of some 57-million popular votes (discounting he/she/its egregiously skewed metroplex-machine and illegal alien/graveyard tallies by a minimum 10 -12%) correspond to 63 : 57-million = Trump by 10.5%, commensurate with his nationwide Electoral result.

    As for polls: At 3:05 PM on Tuesday afternoon, November 8th 2016, screen-shots record that major media (read, Rat propaganda outlets) gave Bobbletwot, Wunderschlumpf winning odds of 98 : 2 (!), rendering Trump’s candidacy essentially nonexistent. Sixteen months later, Rats’ self-destructive mass delusion has actually intensified.

    On this basis, we look forward to nebbish-like “Republicans” (qv) winning twenty out of 24 contested U.S. Senate seats while keeping a marginal but crucial House majority. Bleat and squeak, fuss and grunt, as infantile regressive collectivist/Statists surely will (“great was the rage of Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca”), midterm 2018 will set the stage for minority status comparable to that of 1861 -1913, well past snowflake Generation Wuss’s expiration date.

    Go get ’em, Chuck-a-biddy Schumer, “Crumbs” Pelosi, and yer whole Bathroom Brigade. When the going gets tough, Rats abandon ship.

  • Pat says:

    I’m in the DFW mid-cities and used to live in Dallas until the incompetent, corrupt leadership drove me out. Dems want Lupe for governor because “it’s time” for a lesbian Texas governor. Never mind that all the candidates running for her old job are running on a promise to clean up the mess she made of the department. Their runoff perfectly reflects all that the Dems have left to offer: an unqualified identity victim group representative vs. a white guy from a political dynasty. The Morning News editorial board has been taken over by leftists (each day’s front page is now a collage of anti-Trump stories crowned by rabidly biased headlines that could have been written by Hillary herself), so you know how dim the Dems’ prospects are when even they admit it.

    BTW, Clay Jenkins is an idiot who’s about as popular in my neighborhood as one of the exotic diseases he wanted to help spread by unilaterally declaring that Dallas would take in 2,000 unvaccinated and unvetted illegal alien minors from Central America and house a few hundred of them in an empty school about two blocks from our house. Here’s a reminder of who he is and how beloved he is in Dallas by anyone other than far leftists and illegal immigrants: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2014/07/21/dallas-protesters-stand-up-to-pro-illegal-immigrant-judge/

  • DanB says:

    Thank you. I can’t tell you how much it tickled me that you worked Charles Durning and “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” into an article about the liberal media in Texas. Well struck indeed.

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