How Dems Could Keep the House

Polling inaccuracies might surprise us today
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 2, 2010 6:36 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2010 7:59 AM CDT
In this Sept. 30, 2010 file photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listens to a reporters question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

(Newser) – We keep hearing doom and gloom for the Democrats, and there’s a good chance that’s accurate, writes Nate Silver in the New York Times. But thanks to a few potential polling flaws, things could turn out differently; the Dems might even hang onto the House. Here’s why:

  1. Polls often skip cell-phone-only voters—Some 25% of adults don’t use landlines at all, and their demographics lean Democratic.

  1. Robopolls—Automated interviews, rather than those conducted by humans, have tended to look better for Republicans this year than standard polls have.
  2. The Gallup poll—A key source of Dems’ fears, this poll is an “outlier,” and its assumptions about voter turnout may be misguided.
  3. Voter turnout—Democrats are probably right when they say their strategy is better than Republicans’.
  4. Polls—GOP hopes are based largely on one thing, and you could argue that “the consensus basically failed in two out of the last four midterm elections.”

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