The question always asked about third parties is: did they steal the election? It gets very easy to assume that Libertarians would vote Republican, Greens would vote Democrat, and so third parties flip the results.
Turnout suggests that may not be the case for Robert Sarvis in Virginia.
Normally at Unlikely Voter I’ll look at individual polls, synthesize them into the trend, and go from there. But I’ve been behind, so we’re just going to recap all the recent polling in Virginia and go from there.
Long story short, Terry McAuliffe is ahead, and looks to be the beneficiary of trends entirely out of control of either himself or of Ken Cuccinelli.
I didn’t intend the second stage of my pollster grading series to come eleven days after my first stage, but then again I didn’t expect to suffer my worst cold in a long time, either.
So with my apologies for the unavoidable delay, we continue after a lost week by checking in on Public Policy Polling.
Like everyone else, Rasmussen Reports got two key Senate races wrong, making them big surprises on election night: Colorado and Nevada. Rasmussen also underestimated Barbara Boxer’s lead in California.
My mission since election day has been to find out why everyone got these three states in particular so wrong, while others were accurate. In the process, I’ve taken a good look at Rasmussen’s accuracy this year.
Even though the West Virginia Senate race showed that sometimes a national trend can overcome local candidates, the candidates still matter.
The race for Governor in Maryland has turned out to be one of those. For some time the race was close, but while my back was turned it seems that Democrat Martin O’Malley is simply running away from Republican Robert Ehrlich.
Quick hit to close the weekend: If the Florida Governor’s race isn’t close, as this new Sunshine State News/VSS poll shows in a 45-45 tie, then we’ll know the polls this year were out of calibration.
In particular, if Republican Rick Scott wins handily over Democrat Alex Sink, then the Democrats may have a long night.
Two races for Governor could be making moves, according to the weekend polling. In Oregon, Democrat John Kitzhaber seems to be surging against Republican Chris Dudley, while in New Mexico, Republican Susana Martinez seems to be reversing the state’s recent trend to run away from Democrat Diane Denish.
The directions of the two Republican candidates here in California had been pretty much moving as expected for most of the campaign season. The abortion-friendly Republican Meg Whitman was leading Democrat Jerry Brown, while the abortion opponent Republican Carly Fiorina was falling further behind Democrat Barbara Boxer.
New polling though, such as the latest from Ipsos for Reuters, seems to contradict that.
Republican Chris Dudley led the whole way in the Oregon Governor’s race from May to August in the polling, and led two of three polls in September, but now as October hits, Democrat John Kitzhaber can claim to have taken two of the last four polls.
I wouldn’t suggest that Dudley’s supporters panic or that Kitzhaber measuring for drapes, but I find the new Rasmussen poll to be noteworthy.