David Nir at Daily Kos in The best Eric Cantor post-mortem you’ll find anywhere had this to say about Eric Cantor’s polling firm:
One much-discussed aspect of Eric Cantor’s stunning loss was how god-awful his internal polling was—but if you’re a serious election junkie, you already knew that McLaughlin & Associates has one of the most abysmal track records known to man. But McLaughlin’s survey was bad even for them, outstripping their worst-ever performance (a 34-point miss) by double digits.
The National Journal‘s Shane Goldmacher actually talked to John McLaughlin to see if he could try to explain himself, but of course he couldn’t. One of McLaughlin’s excuses was that turnout was unexpectedly high—but isn’t the whole point of polling getting the voter universe right? As Jed Lewison put it, this is like “a weather forecaster saying that they only thing they got wrong was the weather.”
Indeed, McLaughlin’s hurricane-sized miss has earned them a top spot in the Pollster Hall of Shame. Here’s where they stand among some of the very worst all-time flubs in two-way races:
• Rochester, NY Mayor (D primary, 2013): Siena: Thomas Brown, 63-27; actual: Lovely Warren, 57-41; error: 52 points• VA-07 (R primary, 2014): McLaughlin: Eric Cantor, 62-28; actual: Dave Brat, 55.6-44.4; error: 45 points
In fact, that McLaughlin poll for Dan Halloran alluded to above ties them with St. Pete for the bottom slot, so really, they should appear on this ignominious list twice. Of course, this isn’t exhaustive, and it only goes back a few years, so if you know of other awful polls that belong here, please let us know. As for McLaughlin, well, they’re probably just glad Sienna decided to poll Rochester.
You would think this relevant information would find its way into the news reporting on the push poll done for “Cathi’s Clown” Doug Ducey by the very same McLaughlin & Associates that some media outlets in Arizona reported this week, but no. Doug Ducey leads Arizona governor’s race, but poll shows most GOP voters undecided:
A new statewide survey shows former Cold Stone Creamery CEO Doug Ducey leading the crowded Republican primary field for governor, but more than half of voters are still undecided.
The poll of 400 likely Republican voters gave Ducey — the current Arizona Treasurer — 22.8 percent of the vote.
The next closest competitor is Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett at 8 percent. Former Mesa mayor Scott Smith grabs 6.5 percent. Former GoDaddy general counsel Christine Jones has 6.2 percent of those polled by McLaughlin and Associates.
Still, most GOP voters — 52.8 percent — are undecided, according to a new poll. Rival campaigns for governor, including Smith and Jones, contend the poll has links to groups and consulting firms friendly towards Ducey.
“Today, yet another Ducey surrogate published a poll. As expected, the results clearly favor Ducey, but are far from reality. Rest assured, our internal polling does not reflect these results,” Smith’s campaign said in a statement.
McLaughlin & Associates were only off by 34 points this week in Eric Cantor’s race, so hey, what is there to question?
UPDATE: The Hill reports today, National GOP: Don’t use Cantor’s pollster:
National Republicans are warning candidates to stay away from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) pollster, who predicted just weeks before Cantor’s loss that he was up by a huge margin.
Veteran GOP pollster John McLaughlin has a recent history of missing the mark by a wide margin in his top races. Now, it seems some Republicans have had enough.
Sources close to the National Republican Congressional Committee hear that the House GOP’s campaign arm will encourage their candidates to reassess whether they should be using McLaughlin in several top races.
“It’s safe to say the candidates that currently have him on staff are going to be asking a lot of questions going forward,” said one national Republican strategist.
“Nearly a dozen Republican strategists who’ve worked with McLaughlin over the years say they try to steer their clients elsewhere and increasingly don’t trust his polling.”
The poll isn’t worth the paper it is printed on. It’s certainly not worth the money the Ducey campaign is pissing away on its pollster — other than to manipulate the media with a worthless push poll.