The Candidates’ Market Report
Are polling companies trying to hide data on the likely results of the upcoming election? Certainly, the news media have learned a lesson and now provide scaffolding in their reportage, suggesting that Joe Biden’s healthy lead is not a deja vu moment of 2016 and that Team Biden figures are much more solid than those for the former queen apparent. Why then are pollsters burying their information and reporters not digging deeper?
In 2016, pretty much every poll published its crosstabs (the area where you can see the breakdown of who answered the survey and their affiliations), and this allowed interested parties to plot their own predictions based on the raw data. Each poll would state precisely how it weighted the number of Republican, Democrat, and Independent voters. Not any more.
Several months ago, Liberty Nation pointed out that over-sampling of Democrats and under-sampling of Republicans based on the 2016 election exit poll and the 2018 midterms skewed data by as much as 9%. Since then, a plethora of pollsters has simply stopped providing this information on a front-page basis. This is not to say that the information is hidden from view, just that it is less easy to find. Of those that do still publish the party affiliation data, we can see that the trend of over- and under-sampling continues.
Take, for example, the CNBC/Change Research poll. This survey gives Joe Biden a 10-point lead over Donald Trump (52% to 42%). Worrying figures indeed for Trump supporters. But according to the raw data, the poll samples 44% who voted for Clinton in 2016, compared to 40% who voted for Trump. Digging deeper into the “7 Part Party ID,” it has weighted for a combined 50% of those who (to any measure) identify as Democrat, compared with 40% who (to any measure) identify as Republican.
These figures do not reflect the 2016 election or 2018 midterm exit polls. Some serious game-playing is afoot.
This Week’s Major Players
- Donald Trump – 52% ( + 4% )
- Congress – 14% ( – 1% )
The shape of the 2021 Senate is arguably more important than who wins the presidency in November. Without a Senate majority, the president will be unable to pass major legislation (other than via executive order), which will seriously impact the effectiveness of the administration. This year, Republicans are defending more seats than Democrats, and as such, the Senate GOP is pushing hard for a solid win.
RealClearPolitics has the likely breakdown as follows:
- Republicans: 46
- Democrats (including Independents who caucus with Dems): 45
- Toss-Up: 9
Although there are nine toss-up states, polling indicates that six are likely to go to the GOP. The three leaning to the Democrats are Minnesota, Michigan, and Maine.
What the Gamblers Say
As with most things, if you follow the money, you can’t go too far wrong. This is a selection of the odds for key races and events.
Swing State Odds
Certain states hold the keys to presidential power in 2020. These are the states that are most likely in play and what the betting odds suggest.
- Republicans – 4/5
- Democrats – 10/11
- Republicans – 3/10
- Democrats – 11/5
- Democrats – 4/7
- Republicans – 5/4
- Democrats – 1/33
- Republicans – 9/1
- Republicans – 4/6
- Democrats – 11/10
- Republicans – 1/2
- Democrats – 6/4
- Democrats – 1/14
- Republicans – 11/2
- Democrats – 2/7
- Republicans – 5/2
- Democrats – 8/11
- Republicans – Even
- Republicans – 1/2
- Democrats – 6/4
- Democrats – 2/5
- Republicans – 15/8
- Joe Biden – 4/9
- Donald Trump – 15/8
- Kamala Harris – 150/1
- Mike Pence – 250/1
The question on everyone’s lips is whether the Hunter Biden scandal will sink Joe’s campaign numbers by just enough to keep the former VP from the White House. If this were any other election, the answer would surely be “yes,” regardless of the veracity of the story. But this is 2020, and the media are doing all they can to secure their preferred candidate in pole position. Recent surveys by Rasmussen gave Trump a 1-point lead, and then a day later a 2-point deficit, yet most of the polling hands Biden a clear victory (average over 6%).
Still, many wonder what is happening with shy Trump voters. We know they exist, otherwise reality would have been reflected in 2016 polling; what remains to be seen is whether this quiet voting bloc has shrunk, grown, or remained the same. The evidence so far suggests that this is a growing arena. With the media in a full-frontal attack against anyone who backs the president and rioters in the street literally attacking (and in one case killing) Trump supporters, it is no surprise that many are choosing to keep their opinions to themselves. Add in workplace discrimination for political opinions, and perhaps we see yet another reason why the polls seem to favor a Biden victory.
Make sure to check back next week for all the numbers that count.
Read more from Mark Angelides.
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