Polling trends that matter


Recent polling for the 2014 midterms and beyond is plentiful but not always illuminating. There are two exceptions to this: polls that show a consensus for a trend/wave election and dramatic movement toward a particular candidate.

Mainstream media polling outfits seem increasingly to agree that the GOP will win six or more Senate seats, enough to capture the Senate majority. The New York Times/CBS/YouGov poll gives Republicans a 60 percent chance of taking the Senate. The pollsters do not rule out the potential for, at the high end, an eight-seat gain. The poll finds positive shifts for the GOP in Senate races in Michigan and, following the primary win by businessman David Perdue, Georgia. The Times/CBS/YouGov poll echoes the Democracy Corps poll that found the GOP ahead 46 percent to 44 percent in 12 swing states.

The poll numbers seems to confirm two trends we see in many races. First, the candidate problems seem to be with the Democrats (e.g. Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa, Sen. John Walsh of Montana), whereas in past years the GOP had the self-destructive candidates. If the better candidate with the better-run campaign usually wins, the GOP is in good shape. Second, the president’s “Congress is doing nothing” argument is undercut by the purported agreement on Veterans Affairs reforms. If the House could pass a measure to address the border security issue, created in large part by the president, this would further help Republicans’ effort to demonstrate they can govern effectively.

Early 2016 polling, as I’ve said before, is of limited utility. However, dramatic movement for or against a candidate is worth noting. In that department, Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands out. He is in a statistical tie for first, up five points in a month, in the latest CNN poll. We’ve noted his great improvement and impressive performance on immigration and foreign policy. Others seem to agree. Meanwhile, the Republican candidate who has suffered the most over the past six months or so seems to be Sen. Marco Rubio, Fla., not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has held ground after slipping from front-runner status. Whether this is indicative of a trend or is merely a polling blip remains to be seen.

Excerpted from washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn

© 2014, The Washington Post

Read more From Our Inbox stories from the Miami Herald

  • Obama’s hard stance on ISIS a long time coming

    Listening to the president’s address to the nation regarding the crisis with ISIS or ISIL if you prefer, I was struck by the lack of indignation in the president’s presentation. Where was the visible anger, the fist-pounding oratory that made it clear in no uncertain terms the nation would not tolerate this threat to our interests and, for that matter, humanity?

  • D.C. government guilty of abusing drivers

    “You are guilty until you have proven yourself innocent. … That has worked well for us.”

  • Domestic violence puts some women on the path to incarceration

    Domestic violence is a hot topic right now — a conversation being fueled by what we’ve witnessed inside a fancy hotel elevator and on the stage of the Miss America pageant.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category