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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beyond Nate Silver: Who Did Best?

The Daily Kos morning election newsletter reviews two reports on which pollsters performed best in calling the Obama triumph.  And, surprise (or not) PPP, often labeled "Democrat leaning," did best, while similarly (but in this case, correctly) tainted Rasmussen was one of the worst.  Here's the full rundown:
Fordham University was quick out of the gate with a study assessing national pollsters and how their final numbers compared to the actual results. There was a two-way tie for first between none other than PPP... and PPP! (Both PPP's tracking poll and their weekly poll for Daily Kos and SEIU pegged a two-point Obama win.) Interestingly, PPP is followed closely by an Internet-based pollster, YouGov, suggesting this may well become a legitimate polling avenue and a way around the cellphone problem.
You're probably more interested in who did worst, though, and it's not exactly who you'd think: GfK, on behalf of the Associated Press, brought up the rear. NPR and National Journal's polling was only slightly better, and only then, and fourth and fifth worst, come Rasmussen and Gallup.
And at the Monkey Cage, there are two other pollster evaluation exercises, apparently involving more complicated factors (like margin of error for estimated margin of victory)... and they come up with the essentially same results: PPP closest to the target, followed closely by YouGov and Ipsos/Reuters, with Gallup and Rasmussen the furthest in right field and National Journal and D-Corps the furthest in left field.
Note:  The first e-book on Obama-Romney race has just been published--and it's mine!  "Tricks, Lies, and Videotape" covers the contest right up to Election Night.  Just $2.99.  Enjoy.   

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