June 15, 2017
John Ossoff leads Karen Handel by 3 points in the latest poll of next Tuesday's special election runoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. The poll, conducted by Trafalgar Group, surveyed 1,100 likely voters with a 2.9% margin of error. Ossoff saw 50% support in the survey vs. 47% for Handel.
The 3 point Ossoff is consistent with the 270toWin polling average for the race.
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June 13, 2017
Atlanta's 11Alive reports that "with one week to go in the nation's most expensive congressional election in history, Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff are tied in the race to replace Tom Price..." The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, has both candidates at 47%, with 6% undecided. This result is a notable improvement for Handel from an Abt Associates poll of the race from late last week, as well as the last SurveyUSA poll of the race three weeks ago. Both those showed Ossoff up by seven points.
Aside from the two results referenced above, most polls for this race have shown what today's does: For all the money poured into this special election, it remains a toss-up heading into the runoff next Tuesday. An average of the most recent survey by each of the four firms that have polled the race since May 1st gives Ossoff a three point lead.
Early and absentee voting is underway. As of June 9th, 75,000 early votes had been cast. On the 20th, polling places in the 6th congressional district will be open from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM.
June 9, 2017
Democrat Jon Ossoff leads by 7 points over Republican Karen Handel in the latest poll for Georgia's 6th district special election. The poll, conducted by Abt Associates for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, surveyed 1,000 registered voters. Ossoff's 51-44 lead is among a subset of 745 likely voters.
Ossoff's advantage may be in the poll's finding that "he’s capturing about 13 percent of Republican voters and 50 percent of independents – a crucial voting bloc that typically leans right in the state. It shows almost no cross-over on the flip side; only 3 percent of Democrats say they’re backing Handel. He gets support from 44 percent of white voters, a big number for a Democrat in Georgia."
Most polling for this race has shown Ossoff leading, but with a much smaller margin. On Thursday, a poll from WSB and Landmark Communications gave Ossoff a lead of about 2.5%. It is also worth noting that today's release was a survey of registered voters, while other polls have been among likely voters.
The race will be decided at the polls on Tuesday, June 20.
June 8, 2017
Jon Ossoff leads Karen Handel by 2.5% in the closely watched Georgia 6th district race, a new poll finds. The survey was taken after Tuesday's debate between the candidates. Ossoff led by 1.5% in a survey released by the same pollster on June 2nd.
51% of those surveyed thought Ossoff won Tuesday's debate, while 37% gave the nod to Handel. The runoff is June 20th.
June 8, 2017
Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised $23 million in his quest to win the Georgia 6th congressional district special election. According to The Hill, that is a new fundraising record.
Most polls show the June 20 runoff remains quite competitive, with all but one survey taken since the April 18th primary showing a difference of two points or less.
June 8, 2017
Will President Trump live-tweet to his 31.9 million followers during today's testimony by former FBI Director James Comey? Here's an embed of his twitter account that should update whenever he tweets:
June 6, 2017
While 2020 is a long way off, we've launched a few updates to the interactive electoral map.
- Individual District Splits for Maine & Nebraska: Previously, only two districts could be split for Nebraska, one for Maine. This is one fewer than the actual number of districts in each state. (Why?) For the 2016 election, we expanded the available colors/ratings on the map. This created an issue in Maine, where District 1 favored Clinton, District 2 leaned for Trump, and the overall state was rated somewhere in the middle. The updated functionality allows for this kind of split.
- 3rd Party Electoral Votes: While it faded by Election Day, there was a relatively high level of support for an alternative to the two major party nominees. For a brief while, it looked like Evan McMullin had a chance to win his home state of Utah. To support this, the map now allows for a state to be given to a generic 3rd party candidate. We'll add more functionality in this area if the 2020 campaign produces one or more viable (can win electoral votes) 3rd party candidates.
- Specific 2020 Match-ups: Click or tap the displayed name just above the electoral counter to create a map based on specific Democratic opponents for Donald Trump. The list of names will be adjusted over time.
- (Coming Soon) Palette Mode: Currently, the map is adjusted by rotating through the ratings/colors via click or tap on a state. The palette mode will allow the selection of a rating/color; each state subsequently clicked or tapped will turn to that rating/color. Both palette mode and the rotation mode will be available.
To choose the number of colors/ratings in your map, as well as whether to include the 3rd party in the rotation, select 'Map Options' which is alongside the share buttons below the map.
June 3, 2017
The state polls - and thus the conventional wisdom - gave Donald Trump seemingly little chance to aggregate 270 electoral votes and win the 2016 presidential election. Yet he did win, remaking the electoral map by winning several states that had not been won by a Republican in a generation.
Why were the polls off in 2016? This excellent review, from The Upshot (New York Times) found several reasons that the polls were off. "At least three key types of error have emerged as likely contributors to the pro-Clinton bias in pre-election surveys. Undecided voters broke for Mr. Trump in the final days of the race, or in the voting booth. Turnout among Mr. Trump’s supporters was somewhat higher than expected. And state polls, in particular, understated Mr. Trump’s support in the decisive Rust Belt region, in part because those surveys did not adjust for the educational composition of the electorate — a key to the 2016 race." It is final reason that may have been the largest source of error.
The article provides more detail on each of these issues. It also delves into what is perhaps the more important question. Are the errors fixable so that polling can be trusted going forward? Here the answer is a bit murkier. If the above items accounted for most of the error, pollsters can make adjustments. However, if the root cause is nonresponse from certain segments of the electorate predisposed to one candidate, that is a much more difficult issue to address. In either case, the problem is compounded by the decline in well-designed, high-quality state polling, which has occurred in response to budget pressures on newspapers and other more traditional media outlets.
June 2, 2017
Georgia's 6th congressional district special election remains a nail-biter, a new poll from Landmark Communications for WSB-TV finds. Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican Karen Handel by one point, 49% to 48%. Just 3% say they are undecided 2 1/2 weeks out from the June 20 runoff.
Despite the fact that more than $36 million has been spent on this race, the most expensive House election in U.S. history, the findings of this poll are consistent with just about every survey taken since late March. All but one of these polls has found the candidates separated by two points or less, well within the margin of error.
While the overall race is extremely tight, it is notable that Ossoff leads Handel by over 21 points with voters 18-39. Handel has almost as large a lead with voters 65 and over. Although not quite as pronounced as with age, the poll also found a sizable gender gap. Ossoff leads by 10 points among women, Handel by 9 points among men.
May 26, 2017
Republican Greg Gianforte will become Montana's at-large congressional representative after winning Thursday's special election by about 6 points over Democrat Rob Quist. The race, already more competitive than expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night as Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter. It appears that incident didn't have a huge impact on the outcome, with nearly 2/3 of the total votes cast in the election submitted by mail prior to Election Day.
Gianforte apologized for the incident, and to the reporter by name, while speaking to supporters Thursday night. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 7th.
Donald Trump won the state by 21 points in November, while Ryan Zinke was reelected to this House seat by about 16 points. Zinke resigned to become Secretary of the Interior on March 1st.
Upcoming Special Elections
Once Gianforte is sworn in, Republicans will have 239 seats in the House; Democrats 193, with three vacancies. Those seats will be filled over the next month:
- California 34th District, June 6th: Two Democrats advanced to the runoff for this seat, vacated by Xavier Becerra when he became the state's Attorney General. Safe Democrat
- Georgia's 6th District, June 20th: The most expensive House race in U.S. history will finally be decided as Democrat Jon Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel. Polling for the race has been close, although the most recent one had Ossoff up by 7. The seat became open when Tom Price resigned to become Secretary of Health & Human Services.Toss-Up
- South Carolina's 5th District, June 20th: This seat became vacant when Mick Mulvaney resigned to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In the only poll we've seen for this race, Republican Ralph Norman had a 17 point lead on Democrat Archie Parnell in this heavily Republican district. Likely/Safe Republican