Brian Stryker / Oren Savir

Polling error in 2020, while within the historical range of polling error, has caused a lot of heartburn among Democratic strategists, pollsters, and data analysts. We’re still at work understanding the 2020 election’s polling misses, but one theory that looks accurate is that the COVID-19 pandemic caused polls to overstate Democrats’ vote share. For a state like Wisconsin with a heavy COVID outbreak near the election, the added COVID error was as much as 7 points.

Simply put, people more worried about COVID were more likely to take polls, and those people were also more…


Last week Democrats had a great result in Virginia, a state that was ripe with pickup opportunities based on our previous analysis of special election results. To put it in context, in the elections preceding the great Democratic waves of 2006 and 2008, Republicans never took anywhere near last week’s hit (pending recounts):

· 2005 election: net 3 Dem pickups, final margin 40 D / 57 R

· 2007 election: net 4 Dem pickups, final margin 44 D / 54 R

· 2017 election: net 15 Dem pickups, final margin 49 D / 51 R

Special elections, an update

Democrats also had a great…

Brian Stryker

Democratic pollster at ALG Research, founder of ALG Chicago office. All opinions are my own and should be yours too.

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