Everything old is new again. I suppose enough time has gone by that we can begin to have a sense of humor regarding the end of the 2012 election cycle. In the last few weeks there was a consensus among the poll reading community which was approaching unanimous levels. Mitt Romney was toast. But an undercurrent developed among a number of conservative thought leaders that the the professional polling elites were missing some big clues and things were much closer than was being portrayed in the D vs R breakdowns hitting the cable news cycle every twelve hours.
We all know how that worked out.
The tides seem to be running in the other direction this year, at least for the moment. And the Democrats, perhaps picking the worst possible role models, are taking a page out of a two year old playbook.
Democrats have a new message in the 2014 race for the Senate: Don’t trust the polls.
The party is stoking skepticism in the final stretch of the midterm campaign, providing a mirror image of conservative complaints in 2012 about “skewed” polls in the presidential race between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.
Democrats who do not want their party faithful to lose hope — particularly in a midterm election that will be largely decided on voter turnout — are taking aim at the pollsters, arguing that they are underestimating the party’s chances in November.
At the center of the storm, just as he was in 2012, is Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com.
They went for a quote from Tobe Berkovitz, who is apparently some sort of expert in the field. His signature message is that “Polling has become politicized like everything else in the current environment.”
Yeah. We tried that one, Doc. Let us know how that works out for you. It always seems tempting to go after Nate Silver and read some motivation into his numbers. But before you dash too far down that road, I’d toss out the idea of going back and reviewing the #DrunkNateSilver hashtag in the days immediately following the last elections.
Look… I understand the motivation. I’ve taken similar things into consideration myself. You don’t want the troops to be down in the dumps on election day and depress turnout even further. I get it. But we’ve been down that road before, and the bridge is out at the end of it. Trust us on this one, guys.