Huge variation opens up in the polling for November’s US MidTerms

Huge variation opens up in the polling for November’s US MidTerms


The US phone-online survey divide

By far the biggest elections that we know are taking place this year are the November US midterms when the whole of the House of Representatives is up for election and about a third of the Senate.

The main national picture in the polling is seen in the data in the RealClear Politics data above – the 2018 Generic Congressional Vote where we have seen two almost totally contradictory polls in the past couple of days. A CNN phone poll had the Democrats opening up a 16 point margin while a YouGov US online for the Economist has the gap down to just two.

I’m am very wary of making judgements on the online-phone polling debate because of experience of recent UK elections.

It is reckoned that the Democrats need a national margin of about 8 points to be on course to take control of the House. This is because the boundaries currently very much favour the Republicans. The latest Betfair betting has punters rating the party’s chances at 57%. Because of the Senate races that are up this year Betfair has the Republicans with a 60% chance of retaining a majority with a 26% chance of it being tied.

Generally speaking first term Presidents, like Trump, have poor midterm elections which come exactly two years after their election. If Trump was to come out of the election with his party still holding both houses it would be a great achievement and a good pointer to 2020 when he is up for re-election.

Mike Smithson

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