Former Trump White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was widely mocked after she complained about how "good polling" can actually result in losses for Republicans—who indeed saw significant setbacks now that the 2023 election results have been tallied.
McEnany pointed to Republican disappointments in the traditionally red states of Kentucky and Ohio, highlighting that "good polling does not always translate into resounding victory."
She emphasized the importance of "operationalizing" favorable polls through early voting, mail-in ballots, and effective get-out-the-vote strategies.
Kentucky is a red state. Ohio is a red state. Mississippi, we don't know what will happen but we hope [Governor Tate Reeves] pulls it off but it is a red state."
"Tonight, the midterm elections, the last few elections, we must recognize as a party, good polling does not always translate into resounding victory."
You can hear what she said in the video below.
This slip by McEnany brought the issue of polling methods to the forefront, as many observers noted that her remarks seemed to confuse favorable polls with predictive ones. The debate on polling accuracy has been ongoing, particularly following surprising outcomes in the 2016 and 2020 election cycles.
She has been widely mocked as a result.
Democrats have found solace in a series of important election victories in recent years, including key wins in Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia last night.
Kentucky Democratic Governor Andy Beshear managed to fend off a challenge from the Trump-backed state Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The victory was seen as a notable achievement for Beshear and Democrats in a traditionally Republican stronghold.
In Ohio, a significant milestone was reached as voters approved Issue 1, which enshrines the right to abortion into the state's constitution. This win for abortion rights marked the seventh consecutive victory in state ballot measures since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in mid-2022. The passage of Issue 1 was met with a strong voter turnout.
However, the most significant victory came in Virginia, where Democrats not only thwarted the potential GOP takeover of the Senate but also succeeded in flipping the state House, thereby gaining full control of the legislature.