Dan Guild

On polling eleven months before the Iowa caucuses

Valuable historical perspective from Dan Guild on the latest Selzer poll for the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom. -promoted by Laura Belin

If you know something about the history of the Iowa caucuses, you know three things:

1. Most people don’t really make up their minds until the last month, and often until the last week. Just before the 2016 caucuses, I wrote a post here called “Front runners beware,” which turned out to be fairly accurate.

2. But. BUT. – Iowa caucus polls are consumed like some sort of smartphone app you just can’t put down. You know it isn’t good for you. BUT it HAS to mean something, right? Isn’t the best prediction of what people do in elections is what they say the will do know.

3. And when it is the Des Moines Register poll, people listen. It’s a bit like the old Merrill Lynch television commercial: When Ann Selzer talks, people REALLY listen.

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Does “electability” matter?

Dan Guild reviews past polling data for clues on how Democratic voters will pick a favorite presidential contender. -promoted by Laura Belin

“I am for him/her because they can win”. I have been active in New Hampshire and Iowa presidential primary politics for over 30 years. In that time I have found if you ask someone why they are for a candidate, likely as not they will say “because they can win.” The press mirrors this and will write often about which contender is “electable”.

I am skeptical electability is ever decisive.

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With Democratic House majority in sight, a larger wave may be coming

Dan Guild previously analyzed House generic ballot polling and past wave elections. -promoted by desmoinesdem

We are now 35 days from the 2018 election. For most of 2018 there has been speculation about the Democrats taking the House. But until the last month the data on individual districts has been sparse, and predictions have been based on things like the generic ballot which is itself subject to significant error.

The table below lists the seats that will decide if the Democrats retake the House. It is based on the Democratic margin from 2016. If there is an incumbent running, his or her margin in 2016 is used, if not then Clinton’s margin is used. I have also included a running tally of the number of seats the Democrats would win if they won every seat in a particular group. For example if the Democrats every seat where the GOP margin was 7 points or less they would win 218 seats, exactly the number of seats needed for majority.

What the chart shows is just how protected the Republicans are as a result of gerrymandering.

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