BREAKING NEWS August Complex: 152 structures destroyed in Trinity County Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

What Republicans get wrong about the 'blue wave crashing'

The headline on Sean Hannity's website blared the news: "...

Posted: May 15, 2018 6:18 AM
Updated: May 15, 2018 6:18 AM

The headline on Sean Hannity's website blared the news: "BLUE WAVE CRASHING: Poll Shows Americans Side with TRUMP on Economy, Security."

The piece on hannity.com was actually just a summary of a broader piece written by the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard -- which carried the same headline and the same message: Republicans (and Trump) are actually in much better shape heading into the November election than people believe.

That conclusion was based on polling conducted by Zogby Analaytics, a firm run by pollster John Zogby, and shared exclusively with Bedard.

Here's the spine of the argument made in it:

"When asked 'Who do you trust more?' on the economy, it was Trump over Democrats 41 percent to 35 percent, and on national security the president again led, 40 percent to 38 percent. ... Added to the poll's other findings that support for Democrats is down among millennials, blacks, and so-called Walmart and NASCAR voters, it would appear that Trump is back in favor among voters and that the ballyhooed 'Blue Wave' is dissipating."

So.

Well.

There are a lot of things wrong here. Let's list them!

  1. Bedard notes lower in the piece that Democrats continue to hold a 40% to 33% edge on the generic congressional ballot question in the Zogby poll. The generic ballot, much more so than "who do you trust" questions, has historically been the best predictor of party gains or losses in congressional elections. And a 7-point Democratic edge would suggest significant gains for the minority party if the margin held through November. (Bedard notes that Democrats were at 44% in the Zogby generic ballot in January but offers no specifics on what the Republican number looked like at that point.)
  2. The "edges" that Trump has over Democrats on the economy and national security "trust" questions are almost certainly statistically insignificant. While Bedard doesn't provide details about the size of the sample or the resulting margin of error, it's very, very likely to be well within the 2-point "lead" that Trump has on national security and even the 6-point margin he enjoys on the economy. Statistically speaking, the best way to describe these results goes something like this: People trust both Democrats and President Trump roughly equally when it comes to issues of the economy and matters of national security.
  3. This poll is conducted via the Internet, a methodology that continues to be looked at very skeptically by the broader polling community. "Rigorous evaluations have found that volunteer online panels are less representative of the general population than probability samples," reads an analysis of the method on the American Association for Public Opinion Research. (You can read MUCH more about the issues with online polling here.)

None of that is to say that there may well be signs emerging of a path toward something well short of destruction for Republicans this fall. As I noted last week, there is data that suggests a) people are increasingly focused on the economy and optimistic about its future prospects and b) potentially willing to separate their feelings about Trump from their views of the broader GOP. And even Trump's not-terribly-strong job approval numbers have shown some marginal improvement of late!

But that's not what this poll says. Or what Bedard's writeup says.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 793065

Reported Deaths: 15189
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2621336401
Riverside574821172
San Bernardino52873908
Orange523821150
San Diego45147765
Kern31572354
Fresno27843362
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20748390
Santa Clara20587299
San Joaquin20019421
Stanislaus16398339
Contra Costa16056201
Tulare15687256
Ventura12477146
Imperial11606314
San Francisco1086599
San Mateo9625144
Monterey956869
Santa Barbara8930110
Merced8820137
Kings753477
Sonoma7160120
Marin6613113
Solano619457
Madera442465
Placer350742
San Luis Obispo343827
Butte276940
Yolo276554
Santa Cruz22768
Sutter167910
Napa164113
San Benito131211
Yuba11307
El Dorado10744
Mendocino87518
Lassen7350
Shasta72414
Glenn5633
Nevada5246
Colusa5196
Tehama5134
Lake51211
Humboldt4896
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Chester
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 42°
Red Bluff
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Willows
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 64°
A small trough of low pressure moved over the Pacific Northwest on this first day of autumn, and it brought more gusty wind and an improvement to the air quality for most of us. The breezes will continue through the week, and other changes are coming soon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events