As the 2014 midterm election wound to a close, left-wing pundits repeated the error of their conservative rivals in 2012, claiming that the polls forecasting doom were skewed. It turns out that they were right–but in entirely the wrong direction. As fivethirtyeight’s numbers guru Nate Silver noted after midnight Wednesday, the polls were skewed, on average, six points in favor of Democrats in the key Senate races where Republicans romped.
As Silver noted:
The pre-election polling averages (not the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, which also account for other factors) in the 10 most competitive Senate races had a 6-percentage point Democratic bias as compared to the votes counted in each state so far….
The bias might narrow slightly as more votes are counted; late-counted votes tend to be Democratic in most states. Still, this is a big “skew,” and it comes on the heels of what had been a fairly substantial bias in the opposite direction in 2012.
It remains to be seen whether the press shows the same interest in documenting the internal polling foibles of Democrats that it did in documenting Mitt Romney’s data meltdown in 2012. Regardless, it was a very poor night for polling overall–and not just for Democratic pollsters. Conventional wisdom was that the individual Democrats were doing better than President Barack Obama. The story of how that failed should be fascinating.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak