Despite polls suggesting Democrats are favored to extend — or at the very least hold onto — their Senate majority, Democratic Senators are warning against putting stock in the polls, suggesting they may be flawed.
Democratic Senators are worried polling may be flawed in their favor as it was in 2016 and 2020, but acknowledge that the political environment shifted in their favor since Memorial Day, a month before the Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade.
The drastic shift in generic Congressional polling, spurred by federal protections of abortion being overturned, hasn’t reached President Joe Biden’s polling. Biden is still polling in the low 40s, a figure he held onto for most of the year; he did, however, see a slight improvement in his approval rating following the Roe v Wade decision.
This discrepancy may be what’s fueling skepticism among Democrats that polling showing they’re primed to win the Senate is accurate.
When asked about a FiveThirtyEight poll that gave Democrats a 7 out of 10 chance of keeping their Senate majority, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) scoffed, “When have the polls been right in our favor in the past?”
Murphy elaborated, saying that following the 2016 and 2020 elections — where former President Donald Trump outperformed polling predictions — he had “very little” confidence that polls are accurate.
The greatest upset, however, is undoubtedly the 2016 election, where polls failed to accurately predict the intensity of support for Trump in key battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Trump even shocked Republicans when he beat Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.