No one has ever been elected to office by winning a poll. Elections always come down to who turns out to actually vote and who doesn’t. That said, the final round of polls has arrived for tomorrow’s 2018 midterm elections – and there is quite a bit that we can learn from these numbers.
For instance, whatever is going on in these close races in Florida, the Democrats are seeing a definitive last minute uptick. Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for Governor, has now expanded his lead in the polling averages to 3.9 points, while Democratic Senator Bill Nelson now leads Rick Scott by 3.2 points (source: RealClearPolitics). Why does this matter? It’s not just about whether Gillum and Nelson win. If they are indeed pulling away by a bit, that kind of additional turnout could help the Democrats in the numerous House races in Florida.
Notably, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report made its final revisions today, shifting ten House races. Nine of them shifted incrementally toward the Democrats, while one of them shifted incrementally toward the Republicans. This, again, points to strong voter turnout for the Democrats. But that only works if the voters actually show up.
Meanwhile, new polls say that Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is either a few points ahead or a few points behind, meaning that we know as little about the direction of that race as ever. The polls also say that the Senate races in Arizona and Nevada, are going to come down to the wire. In other words, as is always the case in close races, the results are going to come down to turnout. Be sure to go vote, and to take your friends with you, if you haven’t already.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report