The Media Has A Probability Problem

… In recent elections, the media has often overestimated the precision of polling, cherry-picked data and portrayed elections as sure things when that conclusion very much wasn’t supported by polls or other empirical evidence. … Probably the most important problem with 2016 coverage was confirmation bias — coupled with what […] Read more »

Clues for a Wave? A Look at the Generic Ballots of 2006 & 2010

Given President Donald Trump’s controversial start, it’s no wonder friends and foes alike are already buzzing about his impact on the 2018 midterm elections. It’s still early in the cycle, but not too early to look at what various indicators say about the two parties’ prospects. Presidential job approval and […] Read more »

Democrats Face Steep Climb to Win Back the Senate

It’s hard to ignore the storm clouds gathering for Republicans looking toward the 2018 elections. Midterms are typically referenda on the incumbent president and the party in power, and Donald Trump’s job-approval ratings are lower than those for any newly elected president. Worse still, a badly divided Republican Party holds […] Read more »

Trump will have a very hard time overcoming his approval ratings

Donald Trump’s weekly approval rating in Gallup polling last week sunk to his lowest average yet, with just 35% of adults giving him positive marks for his performance as President. He hasn’t averaged 40% approval over a full week in the Gallup daily surveys since May — and hasn’t even […] Read more »

Will the 2018 Midterms Follow Historic Patterns?

In political handicapping you often have to reconcile a conflict between macro and micro dynamics. The macro, or big-picture factors, focus on the sitting president, with his popularity highly relevant to the election outcome. The micro factors include seats and incumbents that are up for election, local political circumstances, and […] Read more »

The Normal Rules Of Politics Still Apply To Trump — And To Republicans In Congress

One of the big questions heading into the 2018 midterm elections — maybe the biggest — is how President Trump’s unpopularity will affect Republican fortunes. Normally, a president with historically low approval ratings would be a disaster for his party in Senate and House races in a midterm year. But […] Read more »