Thursday, November 08, 2012

Which pollsters got it right?

By Richard K. Barry 

Well done -- and congratulations.

Fordham University published a ranking of pollsters in the 2012 election based on accuracy. Interestingly, Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling was at the top. The Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy simply took pre-election polling and compared it to final results. And you can't argue with results, though Republicans will try. 

According to Jason Zengerle at New York magazine:

When I talked to Tom Jensen, PPP's director, this morning, he was understandably in the mood to gloat. "These supposed polling experts on the conservative side are morons," Jensen crowed. "Jay Cost" — the Weekly Standard's polling expert who'd waged a number-crunching war against PPP — "is an idiot." But Jensen conceded that the secret to PPP's success was what boiled down to a well informed but still not entirely empirical hunch. "We just projected that African-American, Hispanic, and young voter turnout would be as high in 2012 as it was in 2008, and we weighted our polls accordingly," he explained.

Yes, so much of polling is just about trying to figure out who is actually going to show up to vote. Also good to see Republican-friendly firm Rasmussen near the bottom of the list along with Gallup, the two polls Republicans leaned on hard to convince themselves Romney would win. 

Here's the complete list:

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

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