In 2016, conservative interviewer Robert Cahaly and his newly formed company, the Trafalgar Group, became a sensation overnight as one of the few survey companies to predict Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Using a method that relies on the heavy weighting of Trump’s “shy” voters, which most pollsters lack, Cahaly has in recent years been respected by conservatives as one of the few pollsters in the country who can accurately predict the electoral behavior of the modern Republican base.

Six years ahead, however, Cahaly had become one of the most inaccurate forecasters of this election cycle, following a series of misspelled predictions of several battlefield states in the mid-2022 tenure that did not fit most mainstream pollsters.

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According Newsweek Reviewing two dozen Trafalgar polls in the weeks leading up to election day, only five accurately predicted a winner within the final margin of error. The six races surveyed by Cahaly are still tight and yet to be decided, although Trafalgar predicted most of them would be an easy victory for the Republicans. One poll – the Ohio Senate race poll – predicted a double-digit victory for Republican JD Vance, who ultimately won the race by six points.

Fans cheer on Election Night of Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman at StageAE on November 9 in Pittsburgh. Fetterman defeated Republican Senator candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in one of several very fierce mid-term races in this election cycle.
Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

However, every other prophecy Trafalgar has made in recent weeks has completely missed the point.

Trafalgar predicted Republican Tim Michels would dismiss Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers by 2 points. Evers won by three.

In New MexicoRepublican Mark Ronchetti was expected to score 1 upset point for Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Ultimately, she won by over 6 points. In New Hampshire, Don Bolduc was supposed to win by 1 point. He lost easily.

And in the Pennsylvania Senate race, Trafalgar’s 2-point favorite, Mehmet Oz, ultimately lost 4 points.

This isn’t the first time Cahaly has misnamed racing. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, Cahaly opposed the poll consensus and predicted Trump would win re-election, only to misrepresent the outcome in the five battlefield states Biden won.

It is also called racing correctly, or at least it has caught the trend. Cahaly accurately predicted the upcoming governor’s race in New York’s dark blue stronghold, Kathy Hochul’s Democratic Governor’s race won by 6 points, and was shockingly close to the final results in state races in Wisconsin, Missouri, North Carolina and Georgia.

But some of his predictions for Tuesday night were downright surprising.

In the Colorado Senate race, he predicted Republican Joe O’Dea would lose to incumbent Democratic Senator Michael Bennet in a two-point screech. Bennet won a double-digit win.

On the governor’s ticket, Trafalgar predicted that Heidi Ganahl would reduce incumbent Democrat Jared Polis to one digit. She does not.

And in Washington, Democrat Patty Murray – 1 point favorite in the Trafalgar poll – led with over a dozen points since Thursday, her re-election to the US Senate had already been decided a few days earlier.

It is not clear what went wrong. Late Thursday afternoon, the typically prolific Cahaly has not posted on Twitter since election day, and after serving as an election night analyst with Daily Wire, he has not appeared in any major media outlets. Newsweek contacted Trafalgar Group for comment and will update this story with any clarifications provided.

Some, however, had theories.

In the final weeks of the campaign, Trafalgar was one of the few conservative polls behind a staggering number of state polls on the battlefield that combined indicated that a big night was waiting for the Republicans.

Some of the defenseless candidates like Hochul tried to downplay the numbers, in particular calling companies like Trafalgar simply producing numbers that Republicans would like to see and distorting the narrative about the defenselessness of Democrats.

“All we have to do is see the name of Trafalgar. Show me head to head, or show that Lee Zeldin beat me today. Our own polls show this is insanely wrong. Hochul he said on MSNBC a week before election day. “But you make money from it. You get super billionaires who throw millions of dollars against me in negative advertising to support your choices because you gave them a bogus poll. Democrats are too honest to do this. We are not playing this game.

Some examples were obvious. One Trafalgar Group poll showed New York’s Democratic Attorney General Letitia James – Trump’s key political opponent – just one point behind Republican candidate Michael Henry.

She won almost double digits.

“So no legal media will ever report the Trafalgar poll again, will they?” tweeted Matt McDermott, Democrat strategist, on election night.

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