Congressional Republicans scorch pollsters over lousy election predictions

(Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Congressional Republicans aren’t in a forgive-and-forget type of mood with pollsters who were badly off the mark on Election Day.

A series of high-profile pollsters ahead of Nov. 3 predicted Democrats would win a Senate majority and expand on their control of the House, winning up to 15 new seats. Instead, Republicans did better than expected. The GOP now has 50 Senate seats, to 48 for Democrats, and two Georgia runoff elections are set for Jan. 5. In the House, Democrats are likely to have the smallest majority in that chamber in two decades.

The Maine Senate race was among the biggest polling flubs this year, with Republican Sen. Susan Collins seen trailing her Democratic opponent Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

Less than a week before Election Day, a poll conducted by Colby College in Waterville, Maine, had Gideon leading Collins 47% to 43% among likely voters. Running for her fifth term, Collins received a polling average from FiveThirtyEight of 41% to Gideon’s 46%. The RealClearPolitics average placed her 5 percentage points behind Gideon, while the Decision Desk HQ gave Collins a 33% chance of reelection.

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