"The Polling Company" is Kellyanne Conway's polling firm. And so when its latest poll shows an advantage for Republicans — and other polls don't — you should be skeptical.
That should be your first reaction when you hear that their latest release ahead of next week's election in Virginia shows that a Republican sweep is on the cards for governor (Ed Gillespie up by two points), lieutenant governor (Jill Vogel by three points) and attorney general (John Adams by one point).
But this poll is not a total outlier. Two other firms (Monmouth and Hampton) show Gillespie in the lead, and a third (Rasmussen) shows a tie. But the more traditionally trusted pollsters, such as Quinnipiac, Fox News, and the Washington Post poll, point to a Democratic win by Ralph Northam.
Then again, you should probably be skeptical of "traditionally reliable" polling by now. A year ago on this day, Quinnipiac had Hillary Clinton easily winning Ohio and Pennsylvania (five points each), narrowly winning Florida (one point) and North Carolina (three points). She lost every one of those states — including Ohio by eight. And right now, Quinnipiac's most recent poll is the really big outlier in Virginia, showing a 17-point Northam victory.
Another point to make: In 2013, the Republican nominee for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, overperformed the polls in Virginia's off-year governor's race by about 4.5 points. So if this poll proves true, it wouldn't be the craziest thing that's ever happened.