In Hawaii's Senate race last cycle, they found Democrat Mazie Hirono leading Republican Linda Lingle just 47-43 a few weeks before Election Day, and earlier in the race, they even showed Lingle up 5. Hirono won by 25 points. They blew the Democratic primary as well, showing Hirono just 1 point ahead of Ed Case, whom she crushed by 16.
But most egregiously, just two weeks before the GOP Senate primary in 2010, they claimed that Trey Grayson was tied with Rand Paul in none other than Kentucky—and a month earlier, they even had Grayson ahead by 2. That entire year, every other pollster found wide leads for Paul, and he prevailed by a punishing 23-point margin.
That, by the way, covers pretty much of all of VCR's recent polling. Like many other campaign pollsters, little of their data sees the light of day, so if they've chalked up some great wins, that means they're keeping them secret. But what we do know about them shows that, like so many GOP firms, they have a lousy track record and simply shouldn't be trusted.
12:42 PM PT: But wait! There's more. Dreaminonempty unearthed a whole 'nother batch of Voter/Consumer Research misses (man, that slash is annoying), including one spectacular disaster. In 2010, they were working for Delaware Rep. Mike Castle, who faced a crazy tea party challenger in the GOP primary for Senate. VCR didn't think much of it, though, and put Castle up 56-33 right before Election Day. You know what happened next: Christine O'Donnell beat Castle 53-47, handing the Republican establishment a massive loss and VCR a 29-point miss. What makes this even better, though, is pollster Jan van Lohuizen's misplaced confidence prior to the election:
"Delaware is actually a little bit easier than in many other states because you have a closed primary where only Republicans can vote in that primary as opposed to state like Texas where you don't even know which primary they are going to vote in because they don't have to decide until the day of the election which ballot they are going to pick," said van Lohuizen.As Dreamin says, the excuse sounds familiar these days—"they didn't know so many people were gonna vote." PPP, the only independent pollster to test the primary, found O'Donnell ahead 47-44. Well done, VCR.