Eric Cantor’s Pollster Got Paid $75,000 To Be Wrong By 44 Points
John McLaughlin can’t be happy today.
McLaughlin’s firm is the one that famously forecast a 34-percentage-point win by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in advance of his GOP reelection primary last night. Cantor ended up getting smashed by 10 points, losing to an Ayn Rand-loving economist with tea party backing.
McLaughlin tried to explain the loss.
In an email to National Journal, McLaughlin, whose firm has been paid nearly $75,000 by Cantor’s campaign since 2013, offered several explanations: unexpectedly high turnout, last-minute Democratic meddling, and stinging late attacks on amnesty and immigration.
“Primary turnout was 45,000 2 years ago,” McLaughlin wrote. “This time 65,000. This was an almost 50% increase in turnout.”
Translation: McLaughlin’s estimate of who was a “likely Republican” voter was way, way off the mark. But Cantor’s total number of votes still shrunk, even as the total number of primary voters went up dramatically in 2014. He secured 37,369 primary votes in 2012 and less than 29,000 this year, with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Meanwhile, McLaughin wrote that “attacks on immigration and amnesty charges from the right in last week hurt.”