We close out the 2018 election cycle with polling snippets from around the country that aren’t consistent with other published data. As we saw in the 2016 election cycle, some of the numbers that appeared to be running against the grain were actually the more accurate. Will it happen again? It won’t take long to find out.
Florida: More Erratic Polls: Around the country pollsters are reporting very different numbers for some key races at virtually the same time, but none have seen the type of polling as has been put forth in the Sunshine State. Looking at the recent extremes, Quinnipiac University (10/29-11-4; 1,142 FL likely voters) finds Sen. Bill Nelson (D) taking a lead over Gov. Rick Scott (R) beyond the margin of polling error, 51-44%. But, St. Pete Polls (11/1-2; 2,733 FL likely voters; automated) within the same polling period that Quinnipiac utilized saw Gov. Scott holding a one-point edge, 49-48%. Then, immediately afterwards, St. Pete re-tested (11/3-4; 3,088 FL likely voters; automated) and found Nelson rebounding into a 50-46% advantage.
While it appears that Sen. Nelson has the closing advantage, these numbers are similar to what Hillary Clinton held over Donald Trump back in 2016, but Trump scored the one-point statewide victory.
Missouri: Still Seesawing: The Show Me State is another place where the Senate race polls continue to bounce back and forth. In their 10/30-11/1 survey, NBC News Marist College (600 MO likely voters) found Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) leading Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), 47-44%. But, Emerson College in their slightly later, Nov. 1-3 survey with a bigger sample (732 MO likely voters), projected Mr. Hawley to hold a 49-46% advantage.
Sen. McCaskill seems to reach her support ceiling at 47%. In 50 polls that have been conducted and released of this campaign since July of 2017, the Senator has only broken 47% three times (the last time in July 2018) and never reached the majority support plateau. This suggests that Mr. Hawley has the slight advantage.
WI-6: A Major Outlier: Though Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District race hasn’t drawn much attention, it has been considered a foregone conclusion that two-term Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Fond du Lac) is in a close race against businessman Dan Kohl, nephew of former US Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI). But, a JMC Analytics/Bold Blue Campaigns survey (10/29-11-3; 500 WI-6 likely voters) finds the Congressman leading Mr. Kohl by a whopping 61-33%.
This is largely explained by a polling sample that is 57% Republican and only 27% Democratic. While the 6th is a Republican seat, its voting history does not suggest it is as strongly for the GOP as this polling sample would lead one to believe. Wisconsin does not register voters by political party, so voter history is the best available indicator. Chances are strong that this poll is an outlier and we will more than likely see a tight finish here tonight.
Georgia: An Outlier, or Not? The Trafalgar Group has just released a Georgia gubernatorial survey (10/30-11/1; 500 GA registered voters) that gives Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) a major 52-40% lead over former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D). Such a result is inconsistent with all other polling that gives Mr. Kemp only a small lead, and normally one within the polling margin of error.
But, we only need to return to an election from two years ago when the Trafalgar Group was the lone pollster predicting a Trump victory in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. They later predicted Republican Karen Handel to defeat Democrat Jon Ossoff in the GA-6 special election when virtually all other pollsters were predicting the opposite result. So, such a poll from a group with such a strong record maybe shouldn’t be so easily discounted.
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