The Dismal (Polling) Science

The Dismal (Polling) Science

The Backchannel

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If you’re continuing to rise and fall with the latest polls, you know that the NYT/Siena poll came out today with pretty unwelcome news for the Biden campaign. Biden is close to tied or just behind in the key midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but he is far back in the sunbelt states of Arizona, Nevada and Georgia. Possible preview: if Biden won the first three and lost the second three he would win the Electoral College with 270 electoral votes to Trump’s 268. These are bad numbers. There’s no arguing that. The NYT/Siena poll hasn’t been friendly to Biden, but it’s also a quality poll. I would recommend focusing on the averages which suggest a slightly, though not dramatically, different picture. Also, pay close attention to Likely Voter screens as opposed to Registered Voter screens.

I won’t lie to you. I don’t like the look of this poll. But the overall picture continues to be one in which the polls have continued to tighten, albeit not as quickly as I’d like, since around the beginning of March.

But I want to flag a different point: Congress.

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