I’m making good on my promise to declare Ann Selzer a polling genius. Selzer & Co’s last survey of the Iowa Senate race looked like an outlier. No one else’s final poll showed Joni Ernst above 50 percent or leading Bruce Braley by more than 3 points. I was also skeptical because of the big swing toward Braley in Selzer’s mid-October poll, followed by a big swing against Braley in her late-October poll. But in the final analysis, Selzer’s last Iowa poll for the Des Moines Register called the race 51 percent to 44 percent for Ernst. At this writing, unofficial returns put her ahead by roughly 52 percent to 44 percent.
I still think it was irresponsible for the Sunday Des Moines Register to put Selzer on the front page saying the IA-Sen race was over, knowing that several other polls in the field at the same time had found the race to be a dead heat. However, Selzer called her shot and stood behind her data and methodology. I respect her for that.
I don’t have the same respect for everyone on the Des Moines Register’s politics team, but that’s a topic for another day and another post.