Aug 31 2010
The Gallup poll that came out yesterday showing a historic lead for the GOP in the generic ballot test is not the only indication that the Democrats are in the cross hairs of the American public. In fact, sitting next to a commentary by Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight fame was an interesting graph, which I will get to in a moment. Silver leans towards the Democrat side (and is quite open about it). Therefore his NY Times commentary in the Gallup has a touch of denial that things are not yet all that bad. His observations are solid, yet laced with a tenor that indicates the reality has not sunk in:
The poll is probably an outlier of sorts, by which I mean that were you to take the exact same survey and put it into the field again â€” but interview 1,450 different registered voters, instead of the ones Gallup happened to survey â€” you would not likely find the G.O.P. with as large as a 10-point advantage.
Actually, given the 5 week long trend towards the GOP this latest poll may also just be picking up the electorate solidifying its rejection of DC Democrats. Silver goes on to rightfully note that in the beginning of summer, the surprising and rare +5% lead for the GOP could be seen as an outlier:
This is not the situation the Democratsâ€™ faced earlier this summer, when the generic ballot was closer to even. Back then, a 5-point Republican lead on the generic ballot would have been pretty big news; now, it seems to be the new normal.
I completely understand a pollster’s hesitation to jump to conclusion based on a single poll. But as I noted in the comments, the history of the Gallup poll over the summer indicates a trend towards the GOP – not an outlier. But even more so, look at the top 12 senate races likely to switch parties in Silver’s own prediction models:
Notice a trend here? It is important to realize these rankings are the results of many polls and factors, not just one poll. So does Silver not see the writing on the wall? Of those races ranked as having a greater than 75% chance of switching, all 6 are Democrat seats. Of the top 12 seats listed as possible party take overs, all but 1 is Democrat held. AR, WA, WI, CA and NV represent long term, powerful Democrat incumbents, not normally the kind of pol fighting for their careers. The only GOP seat in the mix is an open seat.
Is this not a clear indicator that Americans from every corner of the country are ready (and able) to hand the Democrats their heads? What would this chart look like when Scott Brown was heading to his surprise victory in the MA special senate election? Would the mix have been more even in the top 12 back then? Wouldn’t this kind of prediction have been considered absolutely insane back then? How many canaries do the Democrats and their followers need to see dead or dying to wake up?
Silver also notes that the likely voter version of the latest Gallup poll would show a +14% lead for the GOP! A position I think is probably more accurate, and more devastating. Watch the left freak out now.