On Saturday, writing for CNN, elections forecaster Harry Enten argued that it’s not just public polls showing President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans losing big in November — it’s the GOP’s private internal polls, too.
“Perhaps, it’s not surprising then that when one party puts out a lot more internal polls than normal, it is good for their side,” wrote Enten. “Parties tend to release good polling when they have it. Since 2004, there has been a near perfect correlation (+0.96 on a scale from -1 to +1) between the share of partisan polls released by the Democrats and the November results.”
“Right now, Democrats and liberal groups are releasing a lot more surveys than Republicans, which suggests the public polling showing Democrats doing well is backed up by what the parties are seeing in their own numbers,” continued Enten. “Democratic and liberal aligned groups have put out 17 House polls taken in April or later. Republican aligned groups have put out 0. That’s a very bad ratio for Republicans.”
This stands in contrast to the pre-coronavirus polling landscape, argued Enten, when it was Republican-aligned groups releasing more polls — further suggesting that the pandemic has mortally wounded the president and his allies, and tacking with recent reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may start advising GOP incumbents to distance themselves from Trump.
“This reminds me a lot of what happened just two years ago. Almost universally, Democrats were the ones publishing their House polls publicly. They went on to have a net gain of 40 seats in the House. Democrats also won the House popular vote by 9 points,” wrote Enten. “Indeed, the 2018 example speaks to a larger pattern going back since 2004. Although Democrats tend to publish more internal polls publically, they do very well when that advantage is overwhelming.”
“For Republicans, something needs to change or they’re going to get blown out come November,” concluded Enten.