2022 Midterm Elections polling: Why it was very accurate overall

By Lee Cleveland - November 13, 2022

The big red wave didn’t come and many are pointing their fingers at the pollsters, insisting they got it wrong again. However, they appear to have gotten it right again.

As always in the midterm, every House seat in the country was contested this week and most top pollsters had Republicans besting Democrats by 2 to 5 percent in overall House race polling.

Polls taken within a week of Election Day

PollsterDemocratsRepublicansDifference
Marist46%49%+3 R
CNN47%51%+5 R
Fox44%46%+2 R
Data for Progress48%52%+4 R
Average = +3.5 R

Average = +3.5 Republicans

And guess what?

With an estimated 98 percent of all House votes tallied, Republicans lead Democrats by 3 percent, 50.7 percent to 47.7 percent, a difference of about 3.2 million votes.

Although that difference will likely tighten from now until the counting is finished, Republicans will still finish receiving anywhere from 2.8 to 3 percent more raw House race votes than Democrats, just as most polling projected.

So, don’t blame the pollsters. The top ones were accurate.

Question: Why aren’t the House races reflecting Republicans’ solid lead in raw House race votes?

Answer: For starters, they are a bit. Per CNN, Republicans are ahead 220 to 212 in projected House seat victories.

Better answer: Republican winners, overall, are winning their House races by more votes than Democrat winners are winning theirs. For example, Republican Rick wins his race by 100,000 votes while Democrat Dave wins his race by 80,000 votes. In both races, combined, Republicans netted 20,000 more votes but won just one of the two races.

While Democrats far exceeded expectations in the 2022 Midterm Elections, they still far underperformed versus the 2018 Midterm when they won the popular House vote by a whopping 8.5 percent. And that was expected as the 40-year midterm trend for first-term presidents tells us the party in presidential power will experience a drop-off.

If there’s any consolation for Republicans – and there will be very little – they can boast they solidly won in raw House race votes by 2.8 to 3 percentage points, very close to what the polls projected.

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Tags: 2022 Midterm Elections