Why I Easily Predicted Republican Wins in IN, FL, and MO (Even When The Polls Said Otherwise)

For many years, SportsCar magazine has written a Solo National Championships preview article in advance of the actual event. In this article, they make predictions about who will win each class. It’s mostly lighthearted fun, especially since they are discussing an amateur autosports event with no real impact on society. They also used to hand out t-shirts to the champions at the awards banquet that said “SportsCar was RIGHT!” or “SportsCar was WRONG!” depending on whether or not the magazine had correctly predicted the winner.

Well, if we had been handing out t-shirts to the winners of the Senate races in Indiana, Florida, and Missouri last night, we would have been handing out a lot of “The Media was WRONG!” shirts.

Polling showed clear advantages for the democratic Senate candidates in each state:

  • Joe Donnelly had an average lead of two points in Indiana polling. He lost by nearly ten points.
  • Bill Nelson had an average lead of two and a half points in Florida polling. He lost by less than a point (yes there’s a recount pending, but it won’t change anything).
  • Claire McCaskill was running even with Josh Hawley in Missouri polling. She lost by six points.

Also, Jon Tester was leading Montana polling by three points, but currently trails in actual voting by about a thousand votes as Montana wraps up their count.

But you know who DID get all of these election results right? Well, I did, when I predicted yesterday that Republicans would lose the house, but would pick up Senate seats in Indiana, Florida, and Missouri (I also predicted North Dakota, but to be fair, so did everybody else). I even offered to bet our old friend, BigTruck, a grand on the Senate, which he declined to accept.

Why was I so confident? Simple. I know Trump has broken polling for the foreseeable future. People who support Trump and his agenda often refuse to speak to pollsters, especially after the 2016 presidential election. There is also a large number of people who feel afraid to admit in public that they will vote for Trump—and with people running around in black outfits, beating MAGA-hat wearers with clubs, can you blame them? So they say they will vote Democrat in public, but secretly vote Republican behind the curtain. They also turn out in larger numbers than anybody ever predicts they will—Republicans overperformed in nearly every swing district last night in Florida, Missouri, and Indiana.

When 2020 rolls around, remember this. Be wary of any poll that shows a democrat leading by anything less than double digits. The silent Trump supporters will swing it, guaranteed.

38 Replies to “Why I Easily Predicted Republican Wins in IN, FL, and MO (Even When The Polls Said Otherwise)”

  1. Mopar4wd

    Not surprised by the results either, Polling also has a hard time with unexpected turnout numbers. In the new world of US politics with blue votes more and more in Urban areas it makes the senate tough. It also means the popular vote matters less and less. And I also agree there are plenty of Trump people who won’t say they are Trump people.

    I think the bigger trend was the shifting demographics with the typically financially conservative but socially liberal suburbs mostly just giving up on the GOP and almost all rural support for Dems has disappeared (union workers tradesman and farmers used to at least consider voting blue back in the day). Seems likely that the Senate will stay red or close to majority red for a while thanks to this while the house might stay mostly Blue. It also makes the next presidential election harder to call. You can almost guarantee the popular vote to go Blue but the electoral college is a question mark.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      The next presidential election is easy to call, because there is no blue bench. The only Democrats with national recognition will all be over 70 years old in 2020, and most of them are not very energetic or youthful. The Dems have no well known & successful governors, who have traditionally been the strongest candidates for President, so unless they can get Oprah (no spring chicken) or some other leftist celebrity to step up they have no one with the financing and recognition to take on Trump, which is why Hillary is probably the current D front-runner in 2020. This together with a continuing strong economy, a quiet military (no new wars), and the advantages of incumbency will make it virtually impossible for anyone to beat Trump.

      Reply
      • Mopar4wd

        I would say they would run Biden way before Clinton. I think Biden would have a decent shot. I’m curious who they throw up there. It seems based on the recent results in the house that name recognition and incumbency is way less important then it used to be.

        I stick by my popular vote going Dem. The electoral college I can;t guess. Also note I think in our new normal things like a good economy matter less and less. You will now get blamed for a bad economy but no one will recognize when you created a good one.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          In recent times it doesn’t pay for a Republican to put resources into CA or NY with the electoral college system, and it hardly pays for Republican voters in those states to vote unless they live in a contested house district, which greatly inflates the national popular vote total for Democrats. Take away the electoral college (ain’t happening) and campaigns strategies change dramatically for both sides.

          Reply
          • Mopar4wd

            It’s kind of true on both sides. If your a Dem in a blue state you don;t really turn out much unless something odd is happening. You know your guy will win so why bother. I think as a population as a whole thou demographic changes (boomers dying millenials leaning not just left but crazy left) make it awful hard for anyone on the right to win the popular vote in a presidential election.

        • sgeffe

          My guess is that the O’Rourke dude who got beat by Ted Cruz will be the Dem’s POTUS candidate in a couple years. Just a hunch, same as the queasy feeling I had watching the last occupant of the Oval Office giving a keynote at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

          Hillary and Biden aren’t radical enough for the leadership and the base.

          Reply
          • Mopar4wd

            Gillium and O’Rourke have both been floated. You also have Warren but she seems an awful choice in that her in person on stage personality does not come off that great in my opinion. Chris Murphy from CT has been floated as a possible too. Beats me they may go further left with Booker or Harris but I think that may be a mistake.

          • Mopar4wd

            There is the reverse 2016 theory. Basically get your base to turn out and the other guys not to. In that theory Harris may be the best bet.

        • yamahog

          Maybe they’ll run Biden, it’d make sense. But the Obama coalition won’t show up for a white person the way they showed up for Obama. And every African American in the democratic bench is too deep into the progressive left to really work in swing states or the rust belt.

          Reply
          • Panzer

            If the Dems can swallow their pride and field Biden, they have a chance. He’s much more dignified than Trump and being a white guy, they can pretend they’ve abandoned the identity politics and reach out to the working men who voted Trump.
            The problem is is that they’ll succumb to the temptation to go for ideological purity rather than an electable candidate, because that’s the angry vindictive place they’re in. So they’ll field Harris, Warren or even Clinton, and they’ll lose.

  2. stingray65

    Congratulations on your successful predictions. Academically what you describe is called social desirability response biases, where respondents fail to tell pollsters their true answer for fear of being thought to be deplorable (and perhaps being doxed or beaten). The only major poll that predicted Trump’s win in 2016 used a projective technique that asked who the respondent thought their neighbor would vote for, which showed much stronger support for Trump than asking the respondent directly who they intended to vote for. Polls in the Trump era also greatly suffer from advocacy biases among most pollsters and the media that often fund the polls, in large part because the polls are not designed to predict results, but change results in the direction favored by the leftist media. After all, hearing that your preferred Republican candidate is down 10 points is very likely to discourage many people from voting, and help the Democrat candidate win. Thus they fiddle with samples to make sure Democrat respondents are over-represented, or they word questions or time surveys to put the Republican in the worst possible light to get results showing +++ Democrat. It is a totally fixed game that Trump was partially able to counter with his huge rallies that demonstrated his popularity and encouraged the Make America Great citizens to vote. The rallies would no doubt have had much greater impact if the mainstream media bothered to cover them, or didn’t go out of their way to hide the size of the crowds, but fortunately we have Fox and non-mainstream sources of news these days to help get around the mainstream embargo on positive Republican news.

    Reply
    • Mopar4wd

      Don’t fool yourself Trump won because Hillary was a horrible choice, If they had someone that got people to the polls it would have rolled differently.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        I would agree that Hillary was a terrible candidate, although “no experience” Obama rated her the most qualified presidential candidate in US history – amazing considering that means her political and leadership resume was supposedly superior to Nixon, LBJ, Eisenhower, FDR, Hoover, Wilson, TR, Grant, Lincoln, Jackson, Jefferson, or Washington. Of course Obama also thought there were 57 states, and lost more Supreme Court decisions than any recent US president, so maybe his judgments on US history and law are a bit suspect. On the other hand, it is also possible to argue that Hillary was not really the choice of the party since the fix was in during the primaries to ensure she got the nomination.

        Reply
        • hank chinaski

          Love him or hate him, I can’t think of another individual that could have beaten her, and given the milquetoast crowd that the GOP put up, I hardly think that they even wanted to win.
          He wasn’t the enema that the GOP wanted, but he was the one they got and this is a good thing. Further, the establishment Democrats overestimate how nicely the Ocasios will tolerate them. Interesting times and all that.

          Picture for a moment the SCOTUS under 8 years of Hillary or for that matter how much worse it may be under a Harris in 8-12 years.

          Reply
  3. Nick D

    As a Hoosier, the magnitude of Donnelly’s loss surprised me. He was generally well regarded and personally a decent human. I worked with him and his staff on some issues impacting my industry, and he was known to be a very effective advocate and behind the scenes deal maker for Indiana interests, in part due to his position as a swing vote in the Senate. I don’t know if Braun will be as successful at advocating for Hoosier interests if he is simply the junior senator in the majority party.

    Reply
    • gtem

      I’m a Hoosier who voted straight (R) despite being less than excited about anyone on any of the ballots. Both Braun and my congresswoman (5h district, Susan Brooks) are very much staid and boring typical Republicans without much to offer, aside from (hopefully) supporting the president’s agenda. Both are in lock step on standard things like ever increasing military spending, just like Donnelly. Donnelly’s firewood splitting ad has him touting his pro-military spending cred “radical elements on the right and left want to cut military spending.” Wow how radical Joe, glad you’re not one of them! The Democrat congressional candidate was pushing gun ban legislation so that was an immediate write-off for me. I wrote Brooks to complain the first time Trump launched missiles into Syria and got some canned BS response “Assad is a bad man,” so particularly didn’t like giving her my vote, but oh well. I guess I’m mildly pleased the people I voted for won, but it was very much a lesser of two evils sort of thing. Maybe I should have gone libertarian.

      Reply
      • Mopar4wd

        Any one with defense work in their district or a decent population of veterans will almost always tout military spending. This even includes most centrist Democrats and even some pretty far left.

        Reply
        • gtem

          I hadn’t thought about that mopar and that makes a lot of sense. Jeez I’d honestly not mind that sort of mentality so much if it wasn’t weapons that would then need an excuse to “democratize” some hapless country with (feeding the demand for new and better weapons). Let’s subsidize auto manufacturing or infrastructure or whatever else in that case to help local jobs.

          Reply
          • Mopar4wd

            Here in CT we have a great example of that. Despite being the home of Nader (who is-hugely anti military) our state reps work hard to keep military spending up. This produces interesting results for instance rural eastern CT has voted for the same Dem for years (Courtney) because he fights endlessly to keep the sub base and GD-EB sub building funded despite those towns starting to lean R in other elections.
            In addition we have Pratt and Sikorsky so it’s kind of self defeating to run a anti military campaign in the state.

        • brawnychicken

          These people: “This even includes most centrist Democrats and even some pretty far left.” are the Defense Spending is Bad, Unless it is in My District Crowd.

          Hypocrites, all of them.

          Reply
          • gtem

            I’m really wondering where the Code Pink protesters are with the absolute catastrophe going on in Yemen. Simple enough if it was because all of that started during Obama’s tenure, but they could easily start pinning it on Trump now with his $110B weapons deal with the Saudis (and continued US logistical support for the fight against the Houthi rebellion there). MSM was completely silent on it until an “alternate” media article caught traction on twitter, and more recently a story about a US-made missile hitting a bus full of civilians made the news (nutjob Jim Carrey painted a nice picture of it)

            fair.org/home/action-alert-its-been-over-a-year-since-msnbc-has-mentioned-us-war-in-yemen/

  4. Widgetsltd

    Minnesota and Wisconsin provide an interesting footnote to your analysis. MN is quite rural, once you get outside the Twin Cities, yet they once again elected a Dem governor (not an incumbent but former rep) and kept both Dem Senators in office. It should be noted that Klobuchar is pretty close to the center. Wisconsin, thankfully, booted out Walker from the governorship. Yep, WI is pretty rural outside Milwaukee and Madison.

    Reply
    • Mopar4wd

      There are always outliers. There are also outside factors like Kansas having a horrible GOP pick for GOV. CT almost went GOP for gov despite being one of the most densely populated states but it was mostly due to the hatred of the out going dem gov.

      Reply
      • brawnychicken

        I’m in CT, we had a very good independent candidate who doomed the Stefanowski (the Repub). In a contest decided by 10,000 votes the independent took 50K-mostly from the “R” side.

        Weighted voting should be brought in so that independent’s and third party candidates matter. But the big two will never allow that.

        Reply
        • Mopar4wd

          Not sure who Greibel stole more votes from. I voted for him but would have gone Lamont otherwise. If you look at the polls as Greibel rose he mostly stole Lamont support so it’s hard to tell how that might have played out with rank choice voting. I think the bigger news in the CT governor race was the exact same thing the last 2 governor races showed. If the R don;t put up a moderate to appeal to the fact that the majority of the voters in the state are unaffiliated they lose. Not by much but that has been the same result 3 governor races in a row now despite everyone hating Malloy. The tiny GOP base (137,000 voted in the primary of which only 29,000 voted for Stefanowski) is not a good bell weather for the state as a whole. Opening up the primary might be the best option.

          Reply
    • stingray65

      Yes its great that the devil Walker got booted out before all that economic prosperity, tax relief, and balanced state budgets gets out of hand and becomes an ingrained part of the political culture. I’m sure every Wisconsite will be far better off under Teacher’s Union leadership.

      Reply
    • sgeffe

      I’ve always called Minnesota “Berkeley of The Frozen Tundra!” Make of that what you will!

      Nice to be able to have an honest debate without it devolving!

      Reply
  5. scotten

    Sadly, here in IL – the gov’ner went back to the overly-corrupt Democratic party. Wish I had left this hellhole before I had kids.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Even more sadly, Ill. governors from both parties are regular guests of the state prison system – what they won’t do to get the endorsements of the prison guard unions.

      Reply
  6. safe as milk

    i noticed that there were a lot more women voting then men yesterday. the echo chamber was in full swing here in nyc. i see it as a reaction to the kavanaugh nomination. most people really think that the blasey ford thing was legitimate. it stuns me how much people believe what they want to believe, no matter the evidence. even staten island went blue this time which never happens.

    Reply
  7. Widgetsltd

    Stingray65: It’s funny that you mention the merits of Walker’s strategy, because the Economic Policy Institute did a study on it. When comparing a variety of metrics for Walker’s term in WI vs Dayton’s term in neighbor MN (which perused a very different strategy), guess which economy produced better results? Minnesota!
    https://www.epi.org/publication/as-wisconsins-and-minnesotas-lawmakers-took-divergent-paths-so-did-their-economies-since-2010-minnesotas-economy-has-performed-far-better-for-working-families-than-wisconsin/

    Reply
    • stingray65

      Of course the Leftist Economic Policy Institute is going to find Leftist Dayton’s policies preferable to Rightist Walker’s policies. It is very easy to cherry pick statistics to get the results you desire.

      Reply
  8. arbuckle

    “So they say they will vote Democrat in public, but secretly vote Republican behind the curtain.”

    This is pretty much what I’ve been doing since 2004.

    Reply
  9. hank chinaski

    The senators from TX and FL won’t last long given the demographic shifts in both states, and the felons in FL certainly won’t help. FL will be the next NY by 2024, 2028 latest.

    The NRA/GOA had best up their game. I predict many more red flag laws and hope that the SCOTUS can throttle them.

    Reply
    • Mopar4wd

      One of those issues with being a state with low cost of living and lots of jobs is you attract people of all political flavors. I know a fair number of Left leaning well paid people from the NE who have staked out homes in places like Nashville and Tampa those people will start having an effect as time goes on.

      Reply
    • Carmine

      Felons = Democrats?

      I know I’ve had that opinion for years, but its finally neat to see someone else agrees with it.

      Reply

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