US polling

November 10th, 2012 at 11:18 am by David Farrar

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. YouGov/Economist
11. Angus-Reid
12. ABC/WP
13. Pew Research
13. Hartford Courant/UConn
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.

11 Responses to “US polling”

  1. iMP (2,665 comments) says:

    The same brilliant pollsters may be wildly out next time, which just goes to show that samples and averages cannot always detect the significant societal and ideological changes, and reasons for people voting, that happen in reality and on polling day. It’s weather forecasting at best. “There could be some precipitation!”

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  2. BlairM (2,755 comments) says:

    I am not so sure that PPP should be so smug. They were running D+10 polls in certain states a month out, which is still wrong, even if the result you get shows the eventual winner ahead.

    The truth is that we will never know how good these polls were, simply because Hurricane Sandy threw everyone a curveball, and there is no telling how badly Romney’s ORCA failure affected his ability to get out his voters. I’m not saying I was right – far from it! – but there are a few people out there who think their shit don’t stink because they got it right, and that ain’t necessarily so.

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  3. hinamanu (1,407 comments) says:

    Amazing…people are voting for this cat and his campaign donations go to animal rescue

    A cat may come close to securing third place in the race for the US Senate seat in Virginia, after receiving more than 6000 votes.

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  4. Mark Thomson (124 comments) says:

    Pretty lazy analysis by Kos (shocking I know) to call Gallup a laughing stock and yet say nothing about margins of error.

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  5. Ross Nixon (672 comments) says:

    I found it interesting that Obama didn’t win a single state in which photoID was required in order to vote.

    The Brennan Center for Justice, heavily funded by billionaire activist George Soros, has been at the center of providing data claiming voter ID laws will disenfranchise minorities.

    A 2006 survey of more than 36,000 voters found that only “23 people in the entire sample – less than one-tenth of one percent of reported voters” were unable to vote because of an ID requirement.

    Besides receiving a reported $7.4 million from Soros’ Open Society Institute since 2000, the Brennan Center was also the recipient of grants from the Joyce Foundation from 2000 to 2003. President Obama served on the Joyce board from 1994 through 2002.

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  6. Lindsay Addie (1,629 comments) says:

    Where is Dick Morris!!??

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  7. mikenmild (23,508 comments) says:

    Why is it interesting that Obama didn’t win in states that passed laws designed to combat imaginary voting fraud?

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  8. Bob R (1,826 comments) says:

    The Project ORCA debacle may have been a factor in the low turnout.

    “What is Project Orca? Well, this is what they told us:
    Project ORCA is a massive undertaking – the Republican Party’s newest, unprecedented and most technologically advanced plan to win the 2012 presidential election.
    Pretty much everything in that sentence is false. The “massive undertaking” is true, however. It would take a lot of planning, training and coordination to be done successfully (oh, we’ll get to that in a second). This wasn’t really the GOP’s effort, it was Team Romney’s. And perhaps “unprecedented” would fit if we’re discussing failure.
    The entire purpose of this project was to digitize the decades-old practice of strike lists. The old way was to sit with your paper and mark off people that have voted and every hour or so, someone from the campaign would come get your list and take it back to local headquarters. Then, they’d begin contacting people that hadn’t voted yet and encourage them to head to the polls. It’s worked for years.

    From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame…

    By 2PM, I had completely given up. I finally got ahold of someone at around 1PM and I never heard back. From what I understand, the entire system crashed at around 4PM. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I decided to wait for my wife to get home from work to vote, which meant going very late (around 6:15PM). Here’s the kicker, I never got a call to go out and vote. So, who the hell knows if that end of it was working either.

    So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap? I sure hope not for my sanity’s sake.

    The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.”

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  9. mikenmild (23,508 comments) says:

    Please rank the following statements in order of significance to explain the Republican’s otherwise inexplicable failure to wrest the presidency away from the Kenyan-born, crypto-Muslim, terrorist appeasing and incompetent socialist incumbent:
    1. Massive voter fraud
    2. Poor campaign organisation
    3. Poor candidate
    4. One hurricane
    5. Chris Christie’s treachery
    5. The influence of sinister socialist billionaires
    6. Interference by the United Nations/Freemasons and/or the Illuminati
    7. The interesting astrological alignments on election day
    8. Subliminal messaging in TV/movies by the Hollywood clique
    9. Unabashed rampant media bias
    10. Voters not liking Republican policies
    11. Voters not knowing the Republican candidate’s policies

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  10. Kea (15,179 comments) says:

    1) Unabashed rampant media bias

    That is the reason. You need to look no further.

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  11. mikenmild (23,508 comments) says:

    But doesn’t the media bias help the republicans – giving their oft-absurd positions unwarranted credibility.

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