The exit polls are in and clearly show that Independent voters preferred Democratic candidates in key battleground states, hence why the red wave never came.
While that narrative was tempting (also convincing left-leaning media), due to Republicans reporting better numbers on key issues like the economy, crime, and immigration as our polls showed, we resisted that temptation to project certainty of any “bloodbath” and instead demonstrated caution.
I must note, that one of our polls released a few days before Election day captured this ethos that most ignored. That is, Independents were leaning Democrat in the most key battleground states. We had Independents leaning Democrat in key Senate races in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – by and large all relatively close races. We linked to the data to reveal our demographic distribution and exact question wording, something many of our colleagues don’t do.
In the release, I made the case in the headline that Republicans lead on the issues among Independents, but Independents preferred Democratic candidates. And when drilling down, amidst all of the Republican advantages on inflation, crime, etc., I revealed their Achilles heel – incessant claims of election fraud from two years ago.
The numbers were so intense regarding this one issue, it dawned on me the nature of being an Independent voter; to sit and wait on the fence without a camp or home. And as they sat on the fence they saw a Democratic party in disarray, but worse, the MAGA movement which had become synonymous with claims of election fraud. Regardless of any stance on the issue, it was obvious in our data – that to Independents, buying into that narrative was tantamount to being initiated into MAGA. And Independents found it distasteful.
Suffice it to say, John Zogby Strategies emerged the most accurate once again, this time by not making bold predictions about any party reckoning in the crap-shoot races, but by being prudent, and astute in reading the data and resisting the temptation to follow the herd.
The class of pundits would do well to set aside their passions and let the numbers tell the story.
As the great Mark Twain once said, “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” But we at John Zogby Strategies pride ourselves on letting the figures speak for themselves because of our command of reading the numbers.