GOP pollster says last minute enthusiasm saved Republicans in some midterm races

Republican pollster Ed Goeas said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV's "What America's Thinking" that last-minute Republican enthusiasm in the 2018 midterm elections helped GOP candidates win a few races, including ones in states like Florida and Ohio. 

"Right before the election, it dropped to only a 4-point advantage for Democrats," Goeas, president and CEO of the Tarrance Group, told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on Wednesday. 

"It wasn't because Democrats came down. It's because Republicans came up," he continued. "So I think what we're going to find is that extra turnout that happened in this election was not because Democrats turned out higher than normal for being the out party and having the intensity they did, it's because a group of Republicans also gained some intensity at the end, and they turned out." 

"Examples of that in the Florida race and Ohio race for governor where you had all of the sudden evangelicals come out in very large numbers because they were happy with what happened in the Kavanaugh fight, and they're intensity went up and they turned out in the election," he said.

"Quite frankly, that's why we won both those governors' seats when a month out we were going to lose it because the intensity was so much against us," he said of the Republican wins in the two battleground states. 

Polling taken ahead of the 2018 contests showed Democrats leading Republicans in both of those contests as a result, in part, of the energy stirred due to the fallout over then-Supreme Court nominee Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughHow Cruz Supreme Court case could lead to unlimited anonymous election spending Will the justices end race-based affirmative action?  Are the legal walls closing in on Donald Trump? MORE's confirmation process. 

While Democrats were able to seize the majority in the House, Republicans were able to hold on to their majorities in the Senate and maintain their party's hold on governorships in Ohio and Florida. 

— Julia Manchester