Nate Cohn wrote an interesting analysis in the New York Times suggesting that the same pro-Democrat polling bias we have seen in past elections may be in play again in key states this year.
A practical example of this is in Wisconsin. On paper, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson should be favored to easily win re-election. Instead, the polls have exceeded the expectations of Democrats. The state’s gold-standard Marquette Law School survey showed Democrat Mandela Barnes leading Sen. Johnson by 7 percent.
The Wisconsin data is just one example of a broader pattern across the battlegrounds: The more the polls overestimated Joe Biden in 2020, the better Democrats seem to be doing relative to expectations. Conversely, Democrats are posting less impressive numbers in states where the polls were pretty accurate two years ago, such as Georgia.
Cohn analyzed what would happen if the 2022 polls end up as wrong as they were in 2020.
The result is a much more competitive race for control of the Senate than the general political consensus currently suggests. Republicans would easily win in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida, while Georgia and Nevada would be neck-and-neck. If Republicans won those latter two races, they would have a Senate majority.
None of this means the polls are destined to be as wrong as they were in 2020. Since some pollsters are making efforts to deal with the challenges presented. However, the pattern is worth taking seriously.