The Sweep: Tsunami or Ripple? What a Midterm Wave Might Look Like.

Campaign Quick Hits

TV as Reality: 51 percent of all Americans believe that The West Wing more than any other TV show about politics is realistic, beating out shows like Scandal, The Good Wife, and 24. Concerningly, 42 percent thought House of Cards was realistic. But then again, only 27 percent of Americans thought that Veep was realistic. 

For what it’s worth, as someone who has worked in all three branches of government and on three presidential campaigns, Americans are right: The West Wing overall is the most realistic … though I’d put Veep in a close second. Very, very close.

Polling as a Predictor: Wondering how accurate a poll can possibly be this far out from November? Not very. FiveThirtyEight did the math:

Senate polls conducted during the first six months of an election year had a weighted average error of 8.2 percentage points — meaning the average polling margin between the Democratic candidate and Republican candidate was 8.2 points off the actual margin. Gubernatorial polls conducted during this span had a similar weighted average error of 8.6 points. That’s not super precise, but it’s also not much worse than polls conducted in the final three weeks of the 1998-2020 campaigns, which had a weighted average error of 5.4 points. 

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