US polling

An interesting analysis on Daily Kos of the most accurate individual US pollsters. Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy stated:

For all the ridicule directed towards pre-election , the final poll estimates were not far off from the actual nationwide vote shares for the two candidates,” said Dr. Panagopoulos.

On average, pre-election polls from 28 public polling organizations projected a Democratic advantage of 1.07 percentage points on Election Day, which is only about 0.63 percentage points away from the current estimate of a 1.7-point Obama margin in the national popular vote. […]

And the list of pollsters:

1. PPP (D)
1. Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP
3. YouGov
4. Ipsos/Reuters
5. Purple Strategies
6. NBC/WSJ
6. CBS/NYT
6. YouGov/Economist
9. UPI/CVOTER
10. IBD/TIPP
11. Angus-Reid
12. ABC/WP
13. Pew Research
13. Hartford Courant/UConn
15. CNN/ORC
15. Monmouth/SurveyUSA
15. Politico/GWU/Battleground
15. FOX News
15. Washington Times/JZ Analytics
15. Newsmax/JZ Analytics
15. American Research Group
15. Gravis Marketing
23. Democracy Corps (D)
24. Rasmussen
24. Gallup
26. NPR
27. National Journal
28. AP/GfK

But the commentary is very interesting:

Ha ha, look at Gallup way at the bottom, even below Rasmussen. But let’s focus on the positive—PPP took top honors with a two-way tie for first place. Both their tracking poll and their weekly poll for Daily Kos/SEIU ended up with the same 50-48 margin. The final result? Obama 51.1-48.9—a 2.2-point margin.

PPP is a robo-pollster that doesn’t call cell phones, which was supposedly a cardinal sin—particularly when their numbers weren’t looking so hot for Obama post-first debate. But there’s a reason we’ve worked with them the past year—because their track record is the best in the biz.

The cell phone issue is somewhat overhyped.

One last point—YouGov and Ipsos/Reuters were both internet polls. YouGov has now been pretty good two elections in a row. With cell phones becoming a bigger and bigger issue every year, it seems clear that the internet is the future of polling. I’m glad someone is figuring it out.

Internet panels are a big part of the future – if you do it right. If you do it wrong, they can be self-selecting junk.

But let’s be clear, you have to go down to number six on the list to get to someone who called cell phones. And Gallup called 50 percent cell phones and they were a laughingstock this cycle.

The final Gallup poll had Romney 48% and Obama 47%. Obama got 50.5% and Romney 48% so they were 3.5% out on Obama – just outside the margin of error for a 1,000 sample.

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