As an election watcher, the last several months have been mind-numbing to live through. Despite every historical fundamental pointing to a Republican win in November, the predominant narrative has been that Democrats are resurgent due to Dobbs. Election modelers have even started adding scam PAC polls into their averages just to toss an extra bit of absurdity on top.
It’s truly been garbage in, garbage out, as most major pollsters continue to use registered voter screens instead of likely voter screens, something that leads to a projection of a positive Democrat environment.
So what’s the narrative? You are supposed to believe that the sizable GOP turnout advantage during the primaries won’t translate to the general election, even though that’s exactly what turnout advantages did in 2010, 2014, and 2018. You are also supposed to believe that presidential approval simply doesn’t matter anymore even though it has mattered in every mid-term going back decades.
In short, everything you know about elections and how politics works, you are supposed to ignore because Pollsters Inc. put out a registered voter survey saying the electorate will be D+8. But as I said back during the summer, once major posters switch to likely voter screens, the narrative is going to shift.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that we haven’t even seen the major pollsters switch to likely voter screens yet. Because enthusiasm is high for Republicans, as evidenced by comparisons of primary turnout, likely voter screens should further shift these results toward the GOP, and they have historically done so.
Sure enough, ABC/WaPo is out with its first major offering of the season, and it has Democrats seeing red and suddenly not liking polls again. Republicans lead Democrats on the generic ballot by a whopping five points. Joe Biden’s approval sits at just 39 percent.
That sound you hear is the shrieking from the left as they realize the polls they’ve fallen in love with are going to do what they always do in the weeks before an election. Namely, tighten towards the party that is out of power as likely voter screens become more prevalent. They can’t say I didn’t warn them, though.
I’ve got more bad news, though. In a first-term mid-term with a president who has collapsed, there isn’t much question about which way undecided voters are going to break. All those polls showing 7-10 percent undecided? Short of a history-defying miracle, something I maintain won’t happen, a majority of those people will be pulling the lever for the GOP in November. In other words, it’s all downhill from here for Democrats.
As to the issue level results in this ABC/WaPo poll, they are absolutely brutal for Democrats. Again, those that ignore the fundamentals do so at their own risk.
Here’s what election rating sites like Cook Political and 538 want to sell you: That in the midst of a crashing stock market, sky-high inflation, rocketing interest rates, a visible border crisis, and a White House imploding, none of the fundamentals matter. That Republicans holding a double-digit advantage on the one issue voters say is most important somehow adds up to a Democrat turnout advantage. Does that sound right to you?
Look, I can’t stop people from overdosing on hope based on polling averages that have shown themselves to be highly unreliable. If that’s what Democrats want to do, have at it. It’s only going to make the meltdown on election night that much sweeter.