"Not for the first time, a warped understanding of the contours of a national election had come to dominate the views of political operatives, donors, journalists and, in some cases, the candidates themselves.The misleading polls of 2022 did not just needlessly spook some worried candidates into spending more money than they may have needed to on their own races. They also led some candidates — in both parties — who had a fighting chance of winning to lose out on money that could have made it possible for them to do so, as those controlling the purse strings believed polls that inaccurately indicated they had no chance at all.In the election’s immediate aftermath, the polling failures appeared to be in keeping with misfires in 2016 and 2020, when the strength of Donald J. Trump’s support was widely underestimated, and with the continuing struggles of an industry that arose with the corded home telephone to adapt to the mass migration to cellphones and text messaging. Indeed, some of the same Republican-leaning pollsters who erred in 2022 had built credibility with their contrarian, but accurate, polling triumphs in recent elections.But a New York Times review of the forces driving the narrative of a coming red wave, and of that narrative’s impact, found new factors at play."
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