The latest quinnipiac poll likely allowed Texas republicans to catch a breath. The insurgency of senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke has earned the eyes of the nation as he attempts to win a seat that democrats haven’t won in over two decades. After months of narrowing polls, the tension finally seemed to wane with a quinnipiac poll on Tuesday showing Cruz with 54-45 lead. However, a new Ipsos online poll on Wednesday rekindles democrats hopes, showing Beto to have his first lead yet in the race up 47-45 among likely voters.
The two polls paint the race heading in opposite directions. Such widely divergent portrayals of the Texas senate race is likely deserving of Americans criticism of polls in general. Ever since the 2016 presidential election, polls have duly earned a bit of criticism in the states whenever it comes to predicting election outcomes. However, two major distinctions can made that may explain the different stories being portrayed in the latest Beto Cruz polls.
The first is the method. The quinnipiac poll was “based on phone interviews, while the Ipsos poll used an online survey,” The Texas Tribune reports. This immediately depicts a distinction in audiences. Over the phone surveys largely cater to an older audience, while online surveys cater to a younger audience. Understanding the political divide that persists between age groups, it is to be expected that the over the phone survey would produce more right leaning conclusions and the online survey would produce left leaning conclusions.
The second important note is that the online Ipsos poll asked about political enthusiasm. The Ipsos poll asked the likelihood of whether or not the respondent would vote in the midterm on a 1-10 scale. Ipsos Vice President Chris Jackson said “More Democrats are registered at the highest part of the scale at the 10, than the Republicans.” By his assessment, “This election is going to be really competitive and it’s going to be very hard fought.”
With the two poll results telling two completely different stories, it is a safe bet that the race lies somewhere in the middle. A reasonable assessment may believe Cruz to still be in the lead, but with plenty of reason to feel uneasy about the security of his senate seat. How each candidate does in the upcoming debates should be considered vital to their hopes of coming out on top in November.