Pollster: Oh, Yeah, the Polls We Didn't Release Showed Democrats Easily Winning the Massachusetts Senate Race

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 28 2013 6:13 PM

Pollster: Oh, Yeah, the Polls We Didn't Release Showed Democrats Easily Winning the Massachusetts Senate Race

I spent this afternoon working on a sort of intermission piece for the ongoing "Will Congress reform immigration policy?" story. House Republicans think they have nothing to gain from reform that would let in more immigrants. They're not wrong!

One of the experts I got to nag was John McLaughlin, a Republican pollster who went into the Massachusetts Senate field and did numbers for a pro-Gabriel Gomez PAC. Gomez, the son of Colombian immigrants, carried the vague promise of a GOP Hispanic breakthrough. He never delivered, running only a little ahead of Mitt Romney with Hispanic voters. "In the subset of tracking I saw," said McLaughlin, "he was running about 40 percent with Hispanic voters. Mitt Romney was at 27 percent."

But McLaughlin's polls showed a rosy situation for Gomez—he was never down by more than 3 points in the results the PAC deigned to release.

Ah, about that.

"The race did close eight days out," said McLaughlin. "We didn't release the Wednesday-Thursday polls, but it was opening back up again, with Markey up 6-7 points over Gomez. We didn't renew the buys over the weekend, because it just wasn't going to happen."

See? This is the stuff nobody tells you before the polls close.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.