The handful of political naysayers who questioned the GOP’s confidence before yesterday’s poor election finish today cited “crappy polls” and the public’s general dissatisfaction with Republicans for their success in calling the night correctly.
“Yes, we called bulls*** on the red wave, the GOP flooding the zone w/ crappy polls,” said Simon Rosenberg, the head of the liberal think tank NDN.
For weeks, Rosenberg has been bucking up Democrats with data suggesting that media polls were overplaying the GOP’s advantage on the generic vote and swing of Hispanics and others to the Republicans.
“A red wave may be coming but it is not here yet,” he said in an election eve memo. “Based on everything we see,” he added, “we would rather be us than them.”
Democratic pollster John Zogby said in the most recent Secrets White House Report Card that the election looked to be tilting Republican. But he cautioned, “I continue to warn my colleagues not to get too far ahead of the game with aggregating polls and making projections. All is looking good for the GOP right now, but show restraint.”
But many other pundits hyped the potential for the Republicans, and the party pushed it. For example, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested huge House pickups, up to 70 seats. Today, it looks like the House GOP might squeak out a slim majority.
Zogby told Secrets that some in the media and GOP forgot that other factors were at play, including the recent Supreme Court abortion decision and the public’s long wariness of Republicans.
“It certainly could have turned out that the GOP might win all or most of these close races and get credit for a landslide, but our polling showed that they were never beloved by the electorate,” he said.
John Zogby Strategies polling also found a shift back to Democrats by independents in the last week before the election, a change prompted by concerns about “election deniers,” he told us.
“Both parties have some soul-searching to do going forward. For the Democrats, how do they win back some Hispanics? And why did so few young people turn out to vote? For the Republicans, how will fired-up conservatives in the House work with more establishment leaders like Mitch McConnell? They will be at loggerheads even more than they will focus on President Biden. In short, the GOP has created a real problem for itself because of hubris,” said the longtime pollster.
And he also had a message for the media personalities who went out on a limb to suggest a Republican “red wave.” Zogby advised, “As for pundits, please learn how to read polling.”