How did guided polls in the US affect election results?

In a very short time, US political news site and survey data aggregator RealClearPolitics reported that Murray was suddenly struggling to survive politically. However, warning lights started to come on on the front of the Democrats. Because if Murray, who has won for years, was in trouble, it meant that no Democrat was safe…

Murray’s own polls, however, refuted everyone. Because his own research and surveys showed that he would be chosen easily. In fact, a non-profit site with no inclination stated that Murray had a 13-point lead.

According to the New York Times’ special report, similar incidents took place in other battlefields around the country before the elections. Polls, often from the same partisan pollsters, showing ‘Republican strength’ actually had the opposite effect, raising the voice of Democrats in areas like Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Colorado.


Combined with the political factors that had hitherto favored Republicans in the US, primarily inflation and falling support for the leader, the skewed polls actually helped to feed what had become the political narrative. According to this understanding, there was only one thing that was clear: The Republican ‘red wave’ election was about to hit with hurricane force.

But Democrats in each of these states continued to win their races. Appearing behind in every poll outside of his own team, Murray beat his rival Smiley by about 15 points…

It is not the first time that the views of political figures, donors and journalists have distorted the outlines of a national election.

The misleading polls of 2022 have led some anxious candidates to spend more money on their own races than they might need. Also, some candidates who had a good chance of winning in both parties lost the money that would have made it possible for them to do so. Because those who checked the ‘pouches’ believed the polls, which were misleading.


However, The New York Times review of the impact of the upcoming ‘red wave’ story also revealed that there are new factors at play.

Traditional non-partisan pollsters, after years of trial and error and fine-tuning their methodology, have produced surveys that largely reflect reality. However, they do fewer surveys now than in the past. This scarcity actually allowed their accurate findings to be flooded with partisan polls.

Distorted ‘red wave’ polls; Campaigns, donors, voters, polluted the poll averages that the news media relied on. He also nurtured support for Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ podcast and a range of right-wing media outlets, from ‘The Charlie Kirk Show’ to Fox News. This spread to more neutral mainstream news outlets such as The New York Times, amplifying alarms about the ‘Democratic apocalypse’.


As one senior Republican strategist put it, the virtual ‘poll market’ is largely; It was used by pollsters who rely on financial support from extremist groups, take advantage of Trump’s loud cheerleading, and use unsound methodology.

Still, questionable polls weren’t just done by Republicans. The executive director of Data for Progress, one of the leading Democratic-leaning companies in this cycle, gave the appearance of a conflict of interest by betting and bragging about the election results.

Other pollsters lacked experience, such as the two high school students who started Patriot Polling in Pennsylvania.

“These bubbling polls had a significant, distorting effect on how people spent money, campaign strategy, and people’s expectations of the election,” said Steven J. Law, chairman of the Republican Senate Leadership Fund, which poured $280 million in the process. His own private survey revealed that he showed no red waves.


There were many reasons for Republicans to expect a strong 2022. The party of presidents generally tends to lose congressional seats in midterm elections. Added to the rising inflation and Biden’s waning support rates, this only raised Republicans’ hopes.

But the Supreme Court’s abortion law, Roe v. Wade’s overturning of his decision and the claims of right-wing Republican candidates took an unexpected wind in the Democrats’ sails.

Polls over the summer showed Democrats to have surprising power.

“It was like someone turned the switch,” says Simon Rosenberg, a former adviser to the Democratic Campaign Committee, about the reversal of the Republican polls.

An NYT/Siena College poll in mid-October showed Republicans had a one-point advantage over the Democrats a month ago, by a three-point margin nationwide. Indeed, the Republicans won the national popular vote by three points, as measured by the post-election tally of votes in the House races. And even as the Democrats win in key races, they’ve made gains in unexpected states like New York. However, statewide voting in the individual races that would determine control of Congress took a different turn.

Nonpartisan polls by The Boston Globe and the University of Massachusetts in New Hampshire showed Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, a comfortable 8 to 10 points ahead of her Republican opponent, Don Bolduc. But Trafalgar and InsiderAdvantage put them in a tight race. As a result, Hassan won by 9 points.

In Pennsylvania, the same two companies showed Democratic candidate John Fetterman first narrowly ahead and finally behind against Mehmet Oz. Fetterman won by 5 points against Öz at the end of the day.

The polls that heralded Republican victories also hurt Republicans.

Law of the Senate Leadership Fund relied on private polls suggesting that Republican candidates should fight for every vote, but watched in distress as many conceded victory for sure. “All these euphoric polls and the giddiness about the red wave convinced some Republican candidates that instead of achieving independence, all they had to do was play hard,” Law said of the process.

The biggest disappointment came in the Southwest. Polls have shown that Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters in Arizona is facing long challenges, and Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada could win with enough financial backing. Cash flowed into Nevada, while money was withdrawn from Arizona. Polls continued to suggest that Laxalt had a solid advantage. As a result, the Masters were defeated by over 125,000 votes, while Laxalt lost by 8,000.


The polls, which gave the impression of a red wave, were very useful for right-wing media outlets. Especially on the right-wing Fox News, broadcasts pointing to the triumphs of the Republicans and the defeats of the Democrats attracted great demand.

The network’s own voting unit was not detecting a wave of Republicans. But in September, the channel’s Sean Hannity began casting right-leaning Trafalgar’s Robert Cahaly and InsiderAdvantage’s Matt Towery on his show. Trafalgar and InsiderAdvantage have long been viewed with skepticism in the survey industry for their opaque survey methods.

No mention was made of the Fox News Poll, which featured plenty on the network’s newscast, showing Democratic leanings. In the end, Hannity defended herself by noting on her show that she emphasized the narrow margins in the races to her viewers. Fox News, on the other hand, did not comment on the incorrect use of polls by its hosts.

“Program culture does not welcome narratives of ‘we’re behind’ or ‘we’re losing,'” said Jason Damata, founder and CEO of Fabric Media, a media and advertising consultancy. Fox News has a deep understanding of what keeps viewers coming back and engaging. ‘ he explains the situation.

In 2012, Fox News ratings soared after its hosts predicted that Republican Mitt Romney would defeat then-president Barack Obama, then plummeted when he failed. In 2020, however, its ratings plummeted shortly after Democrat Biden became the first news outlet in Arizona to present it as a winner.

Like Fox News, small internet-based media outlets have relied on pro-Republic content to build their audiences.

In the last two weeks of the campaign, Right-wing Steve Bannon’s podcast ‘War Room’ had more than two dozen nominations and was urging listeners to donate to them. Trump and many others said, “The latest polls in 2022 show we are in a very good position to win,” but Democrats have also used the red wave narrative to raise money meanwhile.

“What if I told you that a new poll shows me with my opponent,” Arizona Senator Mark Kelly wrote to his supporters in late October. Fundraising appeals directly instilled the idea of ​​red waves in millions of Americans and made it much more difficult for them to evade elections. Kelly won by 5 points at the end of the election.


Towards the end of October, the Republican wave turned into a ‘red tsunami’, according to media monitoring and analytics firm Critical Mention. In a short time, references to the ‘red tsunami’ nearly doubled in the first eight days of November.

The bleak poll averages and wavy red headlines have put many Democratic officials on the defensive.

Meanwhile, the averages were also affected by the imbalance between a decreasing number of credible, reputable non-partisan polls and questionable polls.

Reputable pollsters like Gallup and Pew have removed some polls altogether. Quinnipiac University conducted only a handful of statewide surveys late this year. “Obviously cost was an issue,” said Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac’s director of surveys, trying to explain the situation.


While reputable companies are left behind; Cheaper and insecure survey firms using the Internet or automated telephone services have increased. This also affected the process.

One of the newcomers to the industry was Patriot Polling, who was founded in September in suburban Philadelphia by two high school students. Lucca Ruggieri, 17, who describes herself as a Republican, and Arhan Kaul, 16, who is more interested in data science than politics, founded the survey company. Worst of all, they thought this would also support their college application.

Statistics expert and local politicians gave tips to the youth. Ruggieri’s father agreed to pay about $2,500 per survey for automated phone calls.

One of the first polls they published was one that showed Republican Mehmet Öz ahead of Democrat Fetterman. While Ruggieri didn’t even expect the attention, he explains his surprise with the words “I didn’t think they would look at high school students”. Despite mostly mistakes, Patriot’s poll for the New York race roughly mirrored the result and stood out as a more accurate poll than Trafalgar and InsiderAdvantage’s.

Pennsylvania high school students Ruggieri and Kaul stated that they learned some lessons from this process before going on winter vacation. The Kaul process said surveys should be used to ‘enhance the analysis’ and simply to get a better look at the process.

Ruggieri summed up the issue in one sentence and actually gave a message to other pollsters: “I think people should take survey results less seriously.”

* Images of the news are provided by the Associated Press.

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