DiscoverThe Pollsters#190: 2018 Midterm Outcomes
#190: 2018 Midterm Outcomes

#190: 2018 Midterm Outcomes

Update: 2018-11-071


The 2018 Midterm elections are over (mostly) and things turned out much like the pollsters (and The Pollsters) expected, with Democrats taking the House and Republicans making gains in the Senate. While Democrats didn't win some close races, they still managed to do well in legislative chambers.

The Pollsters grade the performance of polling across the country in this election and recognize that there are several high profile races where, even though they were within the margin of error, there are likely to be questions about polling reliability.

There are a lot of data yet to sift through and there are sure to be post-election polls in the coming days, so be sure to come back next week to get our analysis of all the post-election numbers. One new poll: American Jewish Voters Strongly Oppose Trump, conducted by GBA Strategies, commissioned by J Street.

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In Channel
#202: Piano Men — The Ben Folds & Billy Joel Episode!
Trump’s numbers have bounced back!Trump: Favorable/Unfavorable (Real Clear Politics)The work of Mueller and “Mister Peepers”!Mueller Poll Shows Very Few Republicans Believe Russia Interfered In 2016 Election (HuffPost/YouGov)Most Americans in new poll support Democratic investigations of Trump administration (Global Strategy Group /GBA Strategies for Restore Public Trust)More voters back Mueller probe, say it has 'uncovered crimes' (Navigator Research)Mister Peepers, the Ballad of Rod Rosenstein (song by Ben Folds)It's time to start looking at the 2020 polls a little more seriously.Announced/Potential Democratic Presidential Candidate Name Recognition Results (Saint Anselm College / New Hampshire Institute of Politics)Which 2020 Democrats Already Have A Fan Base — And Which Don’t (FiveThirtyEight)National Tracking Poll (Morning Consult / Politico)“Well Virginia they didn’t give you quite enough information!”About a third of Americans say blackface in a Halloween costume is acceptable at least sometimes (Pew Research)Virginians are split on governor’s fate amid blackface scandal, poll shows (Washington Post/Schar School)How people are feeling about their finances.Americans' Confidence in Their Finances Keeps Growing (Gallup)Valentine’s Day!Three Months’ Salary for an Engagement Ring? For Most People, It’s More Like Two Weeks (Morning Consult for The Upshot)Men have higher expectations for Valentine’s Day than women (Bankrate)Celebrating Valentine's Day with your dog? Survey says that's not weird ( women have been disappointed in a partner’s Valentine’s Day actions (YouGov)This is what men and women really want for Valentine’s Day (YouGov)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#199: We Need More Fyre Festival Documentaries
It’s Margie’s Birthday! Please donate to World Central Kitchen to help feed furloughed Federal workers!The shutdown continues to take its toll on federal workers and begins to take a more serious toll on the President’s political standing.Pelosi has edge over Trump on budget negotiations (CBS News)Shutdown, Russia drive Trump to all-time high disapproval (POLITICO/Morning Consult)6 in 10 Americans blame Trump for shutdown (Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research)Voters see shutdown as bigger problem than border situation (FOX News)NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist PollHow un/popular is Donald Trump? (FiveThirtyEight)President Trump Job Approval (RealClearPolitics)Cardi B reminds us that the last shutdown was about healthcare. Where do voters stand on ACA and its alternatives like Medicare for all?Public Opinion on Single-Payer, National Health Plans, and Expanding Access to Medicare Coverage (Kaiser Family Foundation)More Americans are saying climate change is personally important to them.Global Warming Concerns Rise Among Americans (Yale University and George Mason University)The “Brexit” is when you tell people you’re leaving but don’t actually go anywhere. The opposite of that? Ghosting. What do people think is acceptable “ghosting” on Tinder?How Do You Calculate The Emotional Cost Of Ghosting Someone? (BuzzFeed News)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#198: With The Greatest Respect...
SHUTDOWN (and the Wall)We are now in the longest shutdown in the history of the US government. Is either side feeling political pain yet? And how widespread is the pain everyday people and government workers are feeling?  And what’s the shutdown over? The Wall of course. Still unpopular, but as people move into their partisan camps, different polls tell different stories about whether the wall is becoming more or less popular overall.Americans blame Trump and GOP much more than Democrats for shutdown (WaPo/ABC News)Half of Americans fault Trump for shutdown (Reuters)Most Americans Hold Trump Responsible For Government Shutdown (HuffPo/YouGov)Most Border Wall Opponents, Supporters Say Shutdown Concessions Are Unacceptable (Pew)Voters support Democratic proposal to reopen parts of the government that do not involve border security (Quinnipiac)Trump Approval (and Pelosi)ThePresident’s job approval trends downward at a slightly faster clip, as Nancy Pelosi proves my “everybody loves a winner” theory of politics correct.Huffpo TrackerReal Clear Politics TrackerTrump, Congress Job Approval Mostly Steady Amid Shutdown (Gallup)Opposing Trump is making Nancy Pelosi more popular (WaPo article on Civiqs and Gallup polls)2020Deep, Lasting Partisan Splits on Immigration, Investigating President Trump (GW Poll)Generation ZDefining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins (Pew)With The Greatest RespectHalf Of Americans 'can’t Tell When A Brit Is Calling Them An Idiot’ (YouGov UK)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#172: SCOTUS, You're a Firecracker, Baby
Poll of the Week: Axios/ SurveyMonkey Poll “Democrats’ Senate dreams slip away”Survey Monkey write-up: “Senate battleground polls show Democrats in a tight spot”Criticism: Nate Silver (Twitter): The Axios treatment of this poll is basically "How to repeat all the errors the media made when covering polls in 2016, in one chart". But wait until we focus on likely voters.Changing view of SCOTUSPew Research  Interpreting Constitution in current times vs Originalists. Are these questions answered by what view will produce the political outcome respondents want? In a vacuum? Growing share of Americans say Supreme Court should base its rulings on what Constitution means today5 facts about the Supreme CourtAmerican Voters Support Roe V. Wade 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds;Dem Candidates Up 9 Points In U.S. House RacesRoe v Wade and abortionSo many ways to ask the question. Pretty clear majorities say don’t overturn. Pollsters can frame questions to take advantage of affirmation bias.What the polls say about Americans, abortion, and the Supreme Court There are so many other issues beyond Roe.How will this influence people’s midterm votes?Democrats hope Kennedy’s retirement will make the courts a galvanizing issue for their votersPolling data shows Republicans turned out for Trump in 2016 because of the Supreme CourtA quarter of Republicans voted for Trump to get Supreme Court picks — and it paid off2018 Generic Congressional Vote Trump Job ApprovalAmericans Are Having Fewer Babies. They Told Us Why.It’s not that they’re selfish, they just can’t afford it.  Where is infertility on this list?POLL: Did you make it out to see fireworks this Fourth of July holiday? We want our fireworks in our backyard or in the supreme court debate.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#171: Sing Us The Song You're The Polling Man
A surprise takedown in NY-14, where there was no polling in the Ocasio-Cortez/Crowley race.  Is the shockwave also a bellwether?  We cheer women, young and old, rocking the Democratic primaries (70% of open seats going to women over men) and wonder why that’s not happening on the GOP side (30%). We’ve got Westworld, Scandinavia, anger, exhaustion, and days and days of the Red Frickin’ Hen.Primary DayAs blue as Maryland is, is it a good place to be Larry Hogan?RealClearPolitics Maryland Governor RacePost-U. Md. poll: Jealous, Baker lead in Democratic race overshadowed by HoganWashington Post-University of Maryland poll - 2018 Maryland governor's election - May 29-June 3New YorkRealClearPolitics: New York 11th District - Republican PrimaryGrimm vs. Donovan NY 11th Republican PrimaryTrumplandiaTrump approval rating Majority of Americans approve of Trump's handling of the economy for the first time: CNBC surveyBy the numbers: Trump’s economic approval ratings hit a new high2018 Generic Congressional VotePolls: Dems lead in three key Senate racesVirginia: GOP Trailing in CD10West Virginia: Dems Doing Well in Senate, CD03Midterm IssuesImmigration Gains Steam As A Midterm Issue  Voters More Focused on Control of Congress – and the President – Than in Past MidtermsImages and Ideas to Engage and PersuadeFreedom Rings in Places You Might Not ExpectLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
#170: Tom Hanks Is Not Here For Your Partisan Nonsense
Tom Hanks is Not Here for Your Partisan NonsenseDistinguishing Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the NewsNo one party has a monopoly on ability to distinguish between fact and opinion, but people tend to believe that statements that favor their own opinions are factual.Family separation pollingLess Than One-Third Of The Public Supports Family SeparationsMajority oppose policy that causes family separation, but Republicans approveAll four outlets show majority oppose the policy, with large party differences. What does support of this unpopular policy mean for Republicans? A quarter of America is ride or die with Donald Trump.TrumplandiaAmericans are satisfied with Trump's North Korea summit Job ApprovalGeneric BallotMelania’s approval rating also decreasesNumbers show that people responded well to the summit. It’s a Thing. A major or minor achievement. Generic ballot shows the spread between Democrats and Republicans continues to grow. Donald and Melania’s approval ratings both drop, but her numbers are much better than her husband’s.Who doesn’t Approve of Tom Hanks?American Public Does Not See Celebrity Candidates as the AnswerThis one is a head-scratcher. In so many ways.World CupPoll: World Cup Rivals NBA Finals, World Series in Capturing Young Adults’ AttentionOnly 20% of US adults plan to watch. US men are not in it, but so many pretty men are. And some of them are biters.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#169: Let's Talk About The Midterms (& Patrick Breaks The Glass Ceiling)
Let’s Talk about the MidtermsKristen is joined by special guest co-host, Echelon Insights co-founder Patrick Ruffini, to determine who is the goat in this scary movie, who is excited about the midterms, what just happened with North Korea, and what people thought about it before it happened, or didn’t.Generic ballot / Trump’s approval ratingThe generic ballot is widening back out again in favor of Democrats, but Trump’s approval rating has not taken a hit. Are Dems in the clear? Not so fast.Real Clear Politics: 2018 Generic Congressional VoteTrump Job ApprovalNBC/Wall Street Journal PollHow do you talk about the expectation poll when the results of the summit wasn’t a choice?  And what were those results anyway? What is the net outcome of alienating allies and befriending dictators in the same week?Voters unsure what to expect from North Korea talks(Morning Consult poll: U.S. Public Skeptical That North Korea Will Get Rid of Nukes After Trump-Kim Summit)What are midterm voters looking for? A check on Trump? Health care is a problem for Republicans. And the gun issue is surprising. More Dems say they are enthusiastic about primaries, and Republicans look like Independents.Trump's support has gotten deeper — but not broaderEconomic satisfaction under Trump isn't helping his party's 2018 chancesDemocratic Women have won 49% of open seat primaries, Republican Women only 16%California PrimariesCalifornia Results Are Consistent With a Competitive House RaceWhat to Make of the California Primary ResultsOhio PrimariesVIrginia PrimariesFlorida PrimariesLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
#167: Not That Kind Of Biscuit
Not That Kind Of BiscuitWe’ve made it past Memorial Day! What the heck is GDPR and why do I keep getting emails about it? Will Kristen trade her personal data for Swedish translations? What about ads for pretty shoes?Who doesn’t love biscuits? Monsters, that’s who. Find us @ksoltisanderson @margieomero @thepollsters.Poll of the Week: How Adults of Different Ages Feel About Data Privacy?Kristen isn’t giving up personal data for Swedish translations.Most U.S. Adults in Poll Unwilling to Share Personal Data for Ads to Keep a Service FreeSheryl Sandberg of Facebook says they won’t be giving users an option to pay to skip the ads.TrumplandiaEffectively 45% approval! But what does that mean?  Trump Job ApprovalEchelon Insights has some new data on how people feel about Russia and the Trump Campaign, his handling of North Korea and Iran, and his tweeting—but you have to listen to find out what it is!More new Echelon Insight data you have to listen to get...How do people get their news?How often do people use various social media platforms?Is tech good or bad for society?Teens and the InternetPew Research has new data on Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018Generic Ballot UpdateFiveThirtyEight on who’s winning the race for CongressJosh Barro & Charles Franklin (separately) wrote about how the reuters/ipsos poll is volatile, making it seem like gen ballot was closing.Were the 2016 polls accurate?FiveThirtyEight has the answer!And which pollsters should you trust?American CommunitiesPew: what divides and unites urban, suburban, and rural communities?That’s a Cookie, Dammit!YouGov gets the skinny on Brits’ favorite “biscuits”Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
#166: Happy Hour, Hot Dogs & Fast Cars
Happy Hour, Hot Dogs & Fast CarsKristen is back from AAPOR, and she’s pretty pumped.  There are some things that just don’t require polls to decide. If things are so good for the Republicans, what’s Trump hiding? Are we the CarTalk of polling?Poll of the Week: Dumb Internet ControversiesWe Asked The American Public To Settle 5 Of The Internet’s Dumbest DebatesYanny vs Laurel:not as good as the dressIMHO, older people have no idea.Is a hot dog a sandwich? Results as confusing as the question.How many spaces after a period? We’re just getting you worked up. Hard or soft G? It’s not peanut butter.TrumplandiaCongress needs to walk and chew gum at the same time. Who is Trump looking out for?  Is this the least dynamic approval in history?Trump Job ApprovalWhat Americans Think and How to Talk to Them About ItDem operatives craft Trump-Mueller message for 2018 electionsAmericans give Trump credit for good economy, mixed reviews on N.K.Generic ballot moves with Trump’s approval rating.  There’s a tightening.2018 Generic Congressional VoteReuters poll shows Republicans leading generic ballot for first timePublic polling in GA Governor primaryHow does it match with 76-23 results?  Pretty well, as it turns out.Primary Briefing: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky And TexasAJC poll: Most Democrats haven’t decided on governor’s raceVote in Georgia: Will there be a Republican run-off in Georgia governor's race?RealClear Politics: Georgia Governor - Democratic PrimaryIt’s always Infrastructure WeekIf only it were Shark WeekWashington Not Paying Enough Attention to InfrastructureIndy 500 WeekendThe data is almost as old as IndyCar fansIndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA Fans Trending Older Compared To Supercross/MotocrossLearn more about your ad choices. Visit
#165: A Private Bunyan & A Sad Elephant
 A Private Bunyan and The World’s Saddest ElephantWhether or not Mr. 44% deserves a Nobel Peace Prize should not be decided by polls, even if Obama got one. Kristen promises to take notes at AAPOR when AP and Fox News present VoteCast, changing the exit poll game. (Don’t forget Pollsters Nation BEER THING at AAPOR:  Let Kristen buy you a beer at Yard House 5-6 PM ON THURSDAY then on to the real parties). We’re Not. A. Lady. Show.  Pay no attention to the wedding talk.TrumplandiaPoll of the Week: Morning Consult + Politico Tracking PollNo matter how you feel about the Iran deal, you are united on the impact.Trump ApprovalIs this just ambient noise?  America doesn’t realize that it needs to shower.Republicans closing the gapRealClear Politics: 2018 Generic Congressional VoteAP VotecastAP, Fox News launch new exit polling projectEarly exit polls drive election coverage and can lead to misleading coverage. Will  AP Votecast tighten this up?  We’ll find out about all the sausage making this weekend.Generation Gap IssuesInterpretation of the Constitution: Pew Supreme CourtGrowing share of Americans say Supreme Court should base its rulings on what Constitution means todayGallup: Global Warming Age Gap: Younger Americans Most WorriedDo we still call it that?  We’ve always called it that.Royal WeddingPoll: Two-thirds of Brits not interested in royal weddingBritish Anti-monarchy group commissioned poll, results feel like, “Eh, we just had one of those.“ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

#163: Polling Is Not Yeezy


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#190: 2018 Midterm Outcomes

#190: 2018 Midterm Outcomes

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