Unpopular Vote: No, the Polls were NOT Wrong

By | November 5, 2020

“Can we ever trust political polling again given how wrong they were yet again in 2020?”

I have no idea why people keep saying stuff like this. In 2016, Hillary won by three million votes, and now Biden is on track to break Obama’s 2008 record for most votes received by a Presidential candidate (73 million and counting).

Like Hillary, Biden was ahead of Trump in the polls, and he has unquestionably won the popular vote.

Unlike Hillary, he has a sizable lead in the electoral college and won the swing states he was projected to win (Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona), and did not win the longer shot ones like Ohio, Texas, and Florida—which were hopeful and most polls favored Trump.

The results in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Georgia are not complete, but seem favorable for Biden. North Carolina is very close, and could head for a recount.

This is pretty much exactly what was supposed to happen.

As for the Senate races, the two races the Democrats felt most confident about were Mark Kelly in Arizona and John Hickenlooper in Colorado, and they both won.

Ones where they had sky-high enthusiasm, but no real path to victory included MJ Hegar in Texas, Jamie Harrison in South Carolina, and Amy McGrath in Kentucky. They were never CONSISTENTLY beating their Republican opponents in polls and those are deep red states. Theresa Greenfield in Iowa and Steve Bullock in Montana would’ve been nice, but they always faced an uphill battle.

Doug Jones was predicted to lose, and has lost. All the other Democratic Senators were predicted to hang onto their seats, and that looks likely.

Jon Ossof and Raphael Warnock look headed for a run-off with their Republican opponents David Perdue and Insider Trading Barbie. Warnock’s run-off seemed like a likely outcome, and Ossof was usually losing his race against Perdue in polls.

Cal Cunningham’s race against Thom Tillis was always polling in a dead heat, and they are so close, a recount seems likely.

The only real surprise—to me—is Susan Collins being reelected over Sara Gideon. I would say the polls got that one wrong, but that is the only race out of literally a dozen I just listed.

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