Remember five years ago? The nation just voted in a midterm election that really wasn’t supposed to mean anything, based upon the polls, but it did. America lurched sharply right and few pollsters saw it coming.
The drumbeat continued in 2012 leaving MSNBC’s Chuck Todd wearing his “this is my shocked face” in spite of the electorate sweeping Obama back into the white house.
And again last year. The GOP added to their majority in the house and purloined the senate from Harry Reid’s bony fingers. Polls back then foretold of GOP gains but the talking heads were shocked, SHOCKED at the volume of conservative wins.
Last week Matt Bevin was elected governor of Kentucky by double digits. Good news for those who love liberty and small government except that it was not supposed to happen. The polls had Bevin down somewhere between 3 to 5 points just prior to the vote and he won by 9.
Wait, what? How did Matt win? Why were the polls so wrong?
The answer to the last question should be left to smarter and more informed people on how things like polls work, but what is clear is that polls under report the conservative voters and have for years. The “why” of this is much less important than the trend.
Let us posit two theories and project what their results might be. In this video, Bill Whittle contends that the statist progressively biased mainstream media gives conservatives a 15 to 20 point “headwind” in elections. One might argue the numbers might be higher or lower but only a statist progressive would argue that bias doesn’t exist, and they wouldn’t be able to back up the argument with any facts.
Second, polls have been under counting conservative voters for years as evidenced by elections in 2010, 2012, 2014 and last Tuesday. One could make a strong argument that this is caused, in part, by Whittle’s contention. Regardless, the trend exists and is ongoing.
The Bevin win means that the polls got his race wrong by approximately 14 points, much as they have since at least 2010. Where it gets interesting is in pairing that trend with the November 4, 2015 Quinnipiac head to head polls for president which has Clinton and Sanders only winning when matched against Trump.
Carson, Rubio, Cruz and Christie all top the two top Democrat hopefuls, Carson in double digits.
• Clinton v Christie: Christie +5
• Clinton v Carson: Carson +10
• Clinton v Cruz: Cruz +3
• Clinton v Rubio: Rubio +5
• Clinton v Trump: Clinton +3
If you need to know, Trump also loses to Sanders by 2.
One day later, Elon University published similar results, and with Trump as the sole GOP loser and Carson and Rubio ending up on top in single digits. With the election so far away, does this even matter now. Yes, but not in the obvious way.
Here is where it gets interesting. Most polls exaggerate Democrat strength. The amount can be argued but it is not unreasonable to peg it at about 10 points, well short of Whittle’s contention of 15 to 20 points. Yes, the two items are unrelated but there is a relationship between MSM bias and left leaning polls from places like Quinnipiac, and the effect is cumulative. So, adding those ten points to last week’s Quinnipiac data and right now, everyone beats Clinton and the margins look like the following.
• Carson: +20
• Christie: +15
• Cruz: +11
• Rubio: +15
• Trump: +7
They also all beat Sanders, as much as it makes no never mind.
There is a lot of wood to chop between now and the 2016 election. Much more will heard from all the candidates, and the field will thin. Paul, Bush, Carly, Kasich, Jindal, Huckabee, Graham, Santorum and Pataki are all statistically dead but have yet to exit the race. Expect Christie leave for New Jersey and eat cannolis. Someone will soon steal Trump’s ball cap and he’ll go back to playing eminent-domain roulette while much of his support could shift to Carson. After New Hampshire, Carson, Cruz and Rubio might be the only ones left.
On the Democrat side, Sanders will soon go home and yell, “Get off my lawn” at neighborhood kids and O’Malley is walking dead. Clinton will be the Democrat candidate barring an unforeseen circumstance. While her numbers continue to rise within her primary, her numbers, and more importantly their developing trend, against potential GOP candidates likely has her staff somewhere between scared and apoplectic.
Every head-to-head has her losing support with Carson, Christie, Cruz, Rubio and Trump all gaining. The RCP rolling average poll (combining polls from CNN/ORC, Fox, NBC/WSJ, PPP and Quinnipiac) shows similar trends over the past 90 days for all races as this one pitting Clinton and Carson.
Combine this trend with polls 10 point lean to the left and it bodes well for conservatives this election season. There are still 3 months before Iowa and New Hampshire which is a long time in any campaign, and with the bombastic Trump saying anything and everything to shake things up it is certainly too early to place any bets. But it will be fun to watch.