Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Pollsters Undervalue Conservatives Worldwide

In the 2014 midterm elections in the good old USA the polling firms had the GOP [conservatives] picking up from a few seats in the Senate, to an outside chance they could pick up the 6 seats needed to win the Senate.  They showed that the GOP would pick up single digit seats in the House and they probably would lose a couple of Governorships.  Peter Beinart [just a little over 1 week before the elections] in an article in the Atlantic entitled, "There's A Good Reason These Midterm Elections Seem So Boring said, 'It’s even possible we won’t know who controls the Senate until December or January, when Louisiana and Georgia hold runoffs.'  

You had pundits, even on our [GOP] side asking, "why is it so close, the GOP should be running away with this".  I heard many [annoyingly to me] comment, "Because the GOP isn't running away with this shows something is wrong with the GOP brand".

The election result The GOP won an historic, landslide sweep, winning 9 seats in the Senate, 15 seats in the House and winning, not losing 2 Gubernatorial seats.  They also won an historic number of state legislators, from sea to shining sea.  From the Convention of States web site

  • Before the election, the GOP controlled 59 of 98 partisan legislative chambers across the country. They flipped 10 of those chambers during the election, [GOP] now controlling 69 of 98 legislative chambers.
  • The Republicans control both houses in 30 states
Yeah, I guess there's something wrong with the GOP brand, which leads to this question I always wonder is never asked by political pundits, even after an election where the Democrats get thumped: 'What is wrong with the Democrat brand?

In the 2015 Israel electionsEvery single poll in Israel, up to the day before the election, had P.M.Netanyahu's [conservative] Likud party losing, and some losing big to Herzog's [left of center] Zionist Union Party.
The Haaretz poll of polls, I guess you could say the RCP poll of Israel], had the Zionist Union winning 25 seats to the Likud's 21 seats.  In Israel national news it was announced:  "Final pre-election polls released on Friday evening show that the “Zionist Union”, headed by Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, is maintaining a four-seat lead over the Likud headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu."

The election result:  Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud Party won a landslide victory as the Prime Minister would be "re-elected" for an historic fourth straight term.  The final results would show that the Likud Party won 30 seats to the Zionist Union's 24 seats. [a 10 seat difference from what all the polls showed]

In the 2015 Great Britain elections:  the pre-election polls up to the day of the election all showed that Prime Minister Cameron's Conservative Party could be in trouble as this was a razor thin election that could go either way

This from Newsmax on the day of the elections:  "Voters headed for the polls across Britain Thursday, in a contest that is expected to produce an ambiguous result, a period of frantic political horse-trading and a bout of national soul-searching.

Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives and Ed Miliband's Labour Party are running neck and neck, and neither looks able to win a majority of Parliament's 650 seats."

The election result:  This just in [Friday Morning] that I just got from National Review Online's Jim Geraghty in his newsletter, "The Morning Jolt":

"Conservatives Win in a Landslide!  It’s a good day to be a Tory.

Pundits had predicted the UK election would be a close one and suggested there would be days of post-vote, backroom talk to thrash out a power-sharing deal.

Instead, it’s turning into a thumpin’.

With almost all the results in, British Prime Minister David Cameron stays in power, with his party, the Conservatives, stronger than at the last election in 2010.

Reuters has reported that the center-right Conservative Party has won an “effective majority in Parliament with 324 seats.” That’s two seats short of an absolute majority.

Eh, scratch that -- moments before I hit “send” on this newsletter, Conservatives won an absolute majority."
So, in America, Israel and Great Britain the polling firms undervalued the conservative strength in each country, and they undervalued it by a large margin.   

Just a coincidence I am sure...or biased polling methodology to skew the results to the meet the pollsters hopes? 


Spurlee said...

I think a big reason is the simple personality difference between conservatives and liberals. Liberals are like vegans and cross fitters - give them a minute, and they will make sure you know all about their stuff. Conservatives, especially in a public setting, will more likely avoid the irritation of dealing with liberal pollsters.

Big Mike said...

That's a good point Spurlee....a good pollster, though, would take that into account to make sure he has the correct cross section of sample to make sure it is a good poll. Thanks Spurlee!