'Democrats had better strategy': GOP pollster explains why his midterms polls were way off

'Democrats had better strategy': GOP pollster explains why his midterms polls were way off
Image via Gage Skidmore.

In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterm elections, countless polls showed a lot of close races. Some of them ultimately broke for Democrats, including John Fetterman’s victory over Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race and Democrat Katie Hobbs’ defeat of far-right MAGA Republican Kari Lake in Arizona’s gubernatorial race. But Republican Sen. Ron Johnson pulled off a narrow win in Wisconsin.

Polls from the Trafalgar Group gave Democrats anxiety, as many of them were quite favorable to Republicans. But some of the Republicans who were looking good in Trafalgar’s polls ended up losing badly. And New York Magazine’s Benjamin Hart discussed those polls in a post-midterms Q&A interview with Trafalgar CEO Robert Cahaly.

In the interview, published November 17, Hart bluntly told Cahaly, “Your polling results this year were a lot less accurate than they were in 2020. You consistently overestimated Republican support by quite a bit — an average of 7.5 percent in the Senate races. In Michigan, you had Tudor Dixon beating Gretchen Whitmer by one percent, and she ended up losing by 12. You had Washington Sen. Patty Murray up by one, and she ended up winning by 15. And so forth.”

READ MORE: 'Selling the Big Lie': Reporter unloads on Kari Lake after her campaign ends in defeat

The Trafalgar CEO responded, “The thing is: If you look at the last three weeks, nobody was right. We had two things happen. We had a lack of other polling this fall — I’m sure you’ve noticed that the big networks didn’t do anything in the last couple of weeks, which is surprising…. If you want to ask what I think happened — and we’re going to spend a lot of time studying this — but on first blush, Republicans have no idea how to do ‘get out the vote.’ The Democrats are very good at it.”

Cahaly went on to say that “the bottom line” is that “Democrats had better overall strategy” in the midterms.

Cahaly told Hart, “The Republicans just did not strategize well. It is hard to anticipate in polling one party doing that great a job at getting the vote out in targeted states and the other party doing that terrible of a job at getting the vote out in targeted states.”

READ MORE: The Republican 'red wave' evaporates as Democrats shatter midterm expectations and precedents

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