Posts Tagged: pollsters
Directions to the local polling site in San Francisco. (Photo: Kevin McGovern, via Shutterstock)
Much of the coverage of the recent midterm election has been about the surprise outcome – one in which the Republicans have taken a small majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Democrats retained control of the U.S. Senate. However, this was the story that polling was telling us — if we were willing to listen.
Casting a ballot in California. (Photo: Vepar5, via Shutterstock)
Literally minutes after Donald Trump’s election in 2016, political pundits, consultants and prospective candidates started a march toward the mid-term elections. The expectations were set extremely high, with Democratic hopes of taking back the House of Representatives led, in part, by a huge gain in the limited number of remaining Republican-held congressional seats in California.
Illustration by Tashatuvango, via Shutterstock.
Is something wrong with public polling in California? The 2018 election season has been raucous, even weeks before the first votes are cast. And one of the contributing factors has been the seemingly erratic public polling, particularly in the top-of-the-ticket races. The veteran political observers at CalBuzz have called this year’s polling a “muddled mess.”
Telephone poles with their land-line wires fade into the sunset of a California highway. (Photo: Ethan Daniels.)
For decades, polling relied on a strong pool of easily reached voters with a traditional land-line telephone. Before caller-ID became prevalent, nearly every call was answered as long as someone was home. But now more voters are untethered from traditional phones (I haven’t had a land line since 1998), and those who do still have them complain that most incoming calls are from telemarketers.
A political rally during the spring in Santa Monica. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
It’s all over and, with a few exceptions, it will stay that way for two more years. But like any other public event, ranging from bridge tournaments to the Super Bowl, there were winners and losers. Here’s our take on who came out winners and who lost in the 2016 general election.
U.S. Senate election, 2012
In little more than a decade, mail-in or “absentee” voting for statewide elections quadrupled, from 4.4 percent in 1978 to 18.4 percent in 1990, reflecting in part legal changes making it easier to vote absentee. Since the 1990s, mail-in ballots have increased exponentially. In the 2008 primary, 58 percent of the voters cast mail-in ballots, the first time in a California statewide election that mail-in ballots represented more than half the vote. In primaries since then, mail-in voting has risen steadily to a remarkable 65 percent in 2012. In the November 2012 general election, mail-in ballots accounted for about 51 percent. (Above: 2012 U.S. Senate election map/Kurykh, Wikimedia))