RCP poll averages predicted 49 of 50 states

posted at 3:22 pm on November 7, 2012 by Allahpundit

One last 2012 poll post for old times’ sake before we start in bright and early tomorrow morning with 2016 polls. (Joking, joking.) There was one basic meta-question in the sturm and drang over Nate Silver and statistical models: Were the state polls showing Obama sweeping the midwest correct or were the national polls, some of which had Romney ahead even at the very end, right in predicting a photo finish? Now we know. Sean Trende thoughtfully weighed the case for both sides a few days ago. My assumption, like many other people’s, was that O couldn’t duplicate the turnout he generated in 2008. All the polls showing, say, a D+6 advantage simply had to be wrong, as that was way too close to the D+7 he grabbed back then. There was too much stacked against him this time — unemployment near eight percent, liberal disillusionment with the pace of “progress,” a fervently negative campaign that demolished his Hopenchange brand, etc etc. Plus, Republicans couldn’t wait to get to the polls to beat him, and had even come to genuinely like Romney as he campaigned down the stretch. Logically, I thought, the best O could do was maybe D+3 and probably it’d be closer than that. Actual result, per the national exit poll: D+6. That’s why last night is so alarming. 2008 could be dismissed as a fluke but last night smells more like realignment. He essentially duplicated the results of his first “experiment,” which, in science, means we have validation of a hypothesis. Hypothesis: If Democrats can muster that sort of advantage even in the worst of times (albeit with heavy GOTV help from Obama’s superb organization), then the GOP’s starting each election in the near term in a hole.

So some of the national polls like Gallup and Rasmussen were wrong and the state polls were right. See for yourself by checking the final averages of the toss-up states on RCP’s election page. They accurately predicted the winner everywhere except Florida, and in fact frequently underestimated Obama’s final margin. (In other words, the polls were slightly skewed for, er, Romney.) If the state polls were right then the models based on state polls were also bound to be right, which meant that Silver’s probability model was right for all 50 states — as was the model developed by Stanford prof Simon Jackman for HuffPo, as was the Votomatic model developed by Drew Linzer. Jackman’s model, in fact, nailed the margin in Florida, and Linzer predicted flat out the morning of the election that Obama would net 332 electoral votes, which looks to be spot on. Impressive stuff, but not surprising given their baseline: They were modeling based on the state polls, so if the state polls looked good for O, then so would the model. For that reason, I never understood the ferocious antagonism online lately to Silver. He wasn’t the one churning out the data showing an Obama win, the state pollsters were. Says Linzer:

I’ll add, though, that on the eve of the election, averaging the polls, or running them through any sort of sensible model, isn’t all that hard. We are all using the same data (more or less) and so it doesn’t surprise me that we’re all reaching similar conclusions. The real challenge is producing meaningful and accurate forecasts early in the campaign. My model is designed to be robust to short-term fluctuations in the polls, and converge in a stable and gradual manner to the final, Election Day estimates. It appears that in this regard, the model has worked as intended.

But from a broader perspective, my model has been predicting that Obama will win 332 electoral votes – give or take – since June. If all of us are correct today, the next question to ask is when each model arrived at the ultimate outcome.

Note that last paragraph. If you thought there was poll angst this time, imagine what it’ll look like in two years when Linzer or Jackman or Silver starts showing a victory for one side or the other in the midterms four months out from election day and that side’s supporters have to confront this track record. If you’re a baseball fan and think the sport’s too top heavy with sabermetric analysis, wait until political junkies fully absorb the Jackman/Silver/Linzer record this time. You’ll need a statistics degree to follow elections soon.

Oh, and because I know you’re curious: The single most accurate pollster of the cycle, according to Fordham University’s polisci department, was PPP, a.k.a. Kos’s pollster. Out of 28 polling orgs, Rasmussen and Gallup tied for 24th.

Update: Good point from the comments about the saber-metrizing of politics:

If Silver or Tom Tango or Bill James or Keith Law projects a 3.2 fWAR, .240/25/102 slash line, .810 OPS and 130 OPS+ for, say, Ryan Braun, that’s not going to make his real life numbers suddenly decline. He’s not going to despair over getting bad projections from Fangraphs.

But if Linzer is accurate this year 4 months out, and he calls it for Cuomo/Hillary/Warren/Booker in June of 2016, it could have a depressing effect on GOP GOTV efforts. The lines of causality go both ways.


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Doomed Beyond All Hope of Redemption

M2RB: Bruce Springsteen & The “E-Street Band”

Resist We Much on November 7, 2012 at 8:25 PM

jules, most Asians I know don’t live in areas that have bad schools. Asians out of all the races value education above all else, so they would never buy a house or live in an area that has a poor school district, or if they do they would send their kids to private school.

I’m not exactly sure yet myself why Asians in this country have thrown their lot in together with blacks, hispanics, and other Democrats. I haven’t seen exactly how it has benefited them. A lot of Asians own small businesses that would be hurt by Obama’s tax policies.

In the end, I think it’s a result of brainwashing, and the fact that Republicans have made ZERO effort to reach out to Asian communities.

tkyang99 on November 7, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Results Variance Question: Can someone point me to where I can find downloadable election results data. Something looks strange with the numbers when you compare Presidential votes, compared to House votes in most of the battleground states.

Eg: OHIO Presidential Votes Cast (100% reporting)5,360,668
Senate Votes (99.7% reporting)5,240,284

can_con on November 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Sorry missed one:

Results Variance Question: Can someone point me to where I can find downloadable election results data. Something looks strange with the numbers when you compare Presidential votes, compared to House votes in most of the battleground states.

Eg: OHIO Presidential Votes Cast (100% reporting)5,360,668
Senate Votes (99.7% reporting)5,240,284
House Votes (some districts not fully reported) 4,506,344

Why such huge discrepancies? Canadian here,(so humour me, eh)Is it normal that voters do not cast ballots for Pres/Senate/house when voting?

can_con on November 7, 2012 at 8:58 PM

can_con on November 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM

The more I think about it, I think the problem isn’t that Republicans are against minorites/asians, it’s just that they take them for granted. In general the GOP has ignored minorities, unless they need them to win a local election, for example with Cubans in Florida.

The Dems deliberately tried to curry favor with minorities for the past few decades to build their base. The Republicans didn’t because they believed their coalition of white evangelicals will never be defeated.

tkyang99 on November 7, 2012 at 9:16 PM

BTW, the Tea Party had the ground game, had the volunteers, had the phone banks, had the organization, to compete with the dems ground game…

They had a lot of talk.

Name one race wherein you can point to the TP ground game as the the deciding factor. If this is true why aren’t the big money donors funding more precinct-walking ?

Capitalist Hog on November 7, 2012 at 9:38 PM

We just need to show them that we are attentitve to their issues without expecting any immediate return. Let’s work on a comprehensive immigration reform in the House instead of just arguing about it. The House has to pass something the President cannot ignore. Let’s pass a bill to improve schools in minority areas. We can deal with minority issues without giving food stamps or free stuff. Minority just want peace of mind and future for their children.
When minority see Republicans workjing hard to improve their lifes (and thei immigrant parent), they will gradually come along.

jules

You are delusional. What you recommend is Fools gold, much like expecting Pennsylvania to carry us to victory. The democrat party has destroyed the minority community in this country. Black unemployment under Obama is over 16%. The same or worse for Hispanics. The crumbling inner city schools that have failed minorities in town after town all across this country have been controlled by democrats(black dems in many cases) for 40 years or more. Yet like battered wives, minorities go back for more time and time again. Newsflash, sweetie, Republicans aren’t the problem.

Again, why can’t Republicans care about minority issues GENUINELY?

jules

Translation:Why can’t we pander like the dems?

By the way, thank you for showing exactly why the argument you’re trying to make will not work. If people are deliberately willing to embrace nonsense that you just spewed, there is absolutely nothing the republican party can do about it. We can’t fix stupid, and I have no interest in trying.

You are a typical liberal and stop trying to pretend otherwise.

Sherman1864

That’s been her MO for some time now.

xblade on November 7, 2012 at 9:43 PM

Welcome to a once great nation. I guess all that’s left is to buckle in and enjoy the storm.

netster007x on November 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

That’s been her MO for some time now.

It’s nopt a “her”…it’s a “He”
My MO is I am a black Republican than know exactly what minorities have against Republicans. You can chose to ignore my thoughts or accuse me of being a liberal, I could care less. If I was a liberal I wouldn’t waste my time on sites like HotAir or C4P where you are either applauded by going along with the crowd or be sidelined.

What is the most important issue for minorities? A Party that cares about people like them…Republicans fall short in that reason even financially secure Asian Americans aren’t voting for the GOP.
Pulling a front latino face like Rubio or Cruz without actually taking steps to show minorities that the Republican Party cares about them won’t change a thing (liberal and their MSM will DESTROY them as token very quickly).

I made my case and just as I was right about the Election results (all about demographics), minorities will keep voting Democrats until the Republican Party takes measure to show them they can trust them…RESPECT has a lot to do with it…Not all minorioties are food stamp recipients, you know…

jules on November 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

WRong aspect to be shoring up, you useless RINO muckrakers.

rayra on November 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

The greatest puzzle to me was the Voter ID variance. National polls with the largest samples on this (15,000+; low MOE) suggested an electorate of R+1 or even higher. That’s what many here based their (in hindsight) optimistic predictions on. Actual Exit Poll data suggests D+6. That’s a HUGE discrepancy.

Norwegian on November 7, 2012 at 3:33 PM

LMAO

Unfortunately for you, Johnson wont get past 1% and Amendment 64 will be voted down.

Norwegian on November 5, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Colorado will be a comfortable win for Romney of three to four points. The early voting has been a reversal from 2008, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats. As is the case in most states, supporters of Romney in Colorado are more likely to be Election Day voters, which will cement a win for Romney.

Yep. Been saying this for weeks.

3-4 points is actually conservative, I think Romney wins CO 53-47.

Norwegian on November 5, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Your opinion is beyond worthless, you stupid knuckledragging imbecile. And time for you to move back to whatever craphole you came from in the first place. I’m surprised you’re even showing your face around here so soon, what with your ignorant “predictions” and blatant insults of projection blowing up in your face.

Daikokuco on November 7, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Sorry, that was a bit rude of me. No need to stoop to Norwegian et all’s level, now that I have the credibility of having been correct all along about the outcome of this pathetic presidential election between 2 disgusting lying opportunists.

Daikokuco on November 7, 2012 at 11:32 PM

I never understood the ferocious antagonism online lately to Silver.

Smug condescending liberals have been holding up Silver as some super-genius for a long time, just because he told liberals what they wanted to hear about Obama. They conveniently overlook the things he has gotten wrong.

Basically, Nate Silver is a cult for liberals, just like Obama. And anyone not in the cult is just isn’t smart enough to get it.

Moesart on November 8, 2012 at 12:32 AM

It’s nopt a “her”…it’s a “He”
My MO is I am a black Republican than know exactly what minorities have against Republicans. You can chose to ignore my thoughts or accuse me of being a liberal, I could care less. If I was a liberal I wouldn’t waste my time on sites like HotAir or C4P where you are either applauded by going along with the crowd or be sidelined.

What is the most important issue for minorities? A Party that cares about people like them…Republicans fall short in that reason even financially secure Asian Americans aren’t voting for the GOP.
Pulling a front latino face like Rubio or Cruz without actually taking steps to show minorities that the Republican Party cares about them won’t change a thing (liberal and their MSM will DESTROY them as token very quickly).

I made my case and just as I was right about the Election results (all about demographics), minorities will keep voting Democrats until the Republican Party takes measure to show them they can trust them…RESPECT has a lot to do with it…Not all minorioties are food stamp recipients, you know…

jules on November 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

In other words, republicans need to offer minorities free stuff.

Alberta_Patriot on November 8, 2012 at 4:44 AM

I made my case and just as I was right about the Election results (all about demographics), minorities will keep voting Democrats until the Republican Party takes measure to show them they can trust them…RESPECT has a lot to do with it…Not all minorioties are food stamp recipients, you know…

jules on November 7, 2012 at 10:53 PM

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply but I’ve been out. Jules you do realize that you are asking us to show how much we support equality by showing minorities preferential treatment. Does that make any sense to you?

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 5:31 AM

Do Rpublicans want to build their house on shifting sands?

kingsjester on November 8, 2012 at 7:01 AM

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply but I’ve been out. Jules you do realize that you are asking us to show how much we support equality by showing minorities preferential treatment. Does that make any sense to you?

The majority of minorities are proud working men and women that don’t want to be patronized and preferential treatment does that.
What they want is to be RESPECTED by Republicans the same way they appear to be RESPECTED by Democrats. Democrats take time to go to their neighborhood and pretend to address their many issues. Republicans stay away for whatever reason.
Bush got 44% of the Latino vote because he showed interest in issues they care about like Immigration reform. He did not give them any free stuff, just gave them the impression he will address an issue they care about.
Democrats go to black area making promises to make their neighborhood safer, improve their schools and help them find work. Instead they appease them with free stuff which makes their situation worse. Believe me; most minorities don’t want to rely on free stuff because it isn’t reliable. They don’t vote for Democrats because of preferential treatment, they do because they think Republicans are nowhere to be seen beside continuously looking down on them and disrespecting them at every turn.
That notion of DISRESOECT and RACISM is the reason Asian Americans are voting Democrats too. It’s just reality.

I don’t know why you are stubbornly clinging to the idea that minority want preferential treatment or free stuff from Republicans. That isn’t the case for the majority of them. They just want to be RESPECTED and shown attention (like Bush did with Latino). The less racist Republican appear, the more appealing they will be to minorities. No need for preferential treatment or free stuff.

jules on November 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM

The majority of minorities are proud working men and women that don’t want to be patronized and preferential treatment does that.
What they want is to be RESPECTED by Republicans the same way they appear to be RESPECTED by Democrats. Democrats take time to go to their neighborhood and pretend to address their many issues. Republicans stay away for whatever reason.
Bush got 44% of the Latino vote because he showed interest in issues they care about like Immigration reform. He did not give them any free stuff, just gave them the impression he will address an issue they care about.
Democrats go to black area making promises to make their neighborhood safer, improve their schools and help them find work. Instead they appease them with free stuff which makes their situation worse. Believe me; most minorities don’t want to rely on free stuff because it isn’t reliable. They don’t vote for Democrats because of preferential treatment, they do because they think Republicans are nowhere to be seen beside continuously looking down on them and disrespecting them at every turn.
That notion of DISRESOECT and RACISM is the reason Asian Americans are voting Democrats too. It’s just reality.

I don’t know why you are stubbornly clinging to the idea that minority want preferential treatment or free stuff from Republicans. That isn’t the case for the majority of them. They just want to be RESPECTED and shown attention (like Bush did with Latino). The less racist Republican appear, the more appealing they will be to minorities. No need for preferential treatment or free stuff.

jules on November 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Beautifully stated. Not sure why Republicans/Conservatives and their politicians can’t get this.

Well I do, and the comments sections of Hotair.com are a perfect petri dish of this behavior, they continuously project their prejudices against brown people, express their belief that we are all lazy bums who don’t work, we are all criminals, we are all single parents name Shanequa, looking for handouts, our women are welfare queens and our men a thugs that smoke weed all day, we are all illegal immigrant bums or steal jobs(if we are working), we don’t pay taxes, our children are derelicts(and if we find ourselves with child we are either making a bee-line to the welfare office or the abortion clinic, we participate in group think and we aren’t worthy their time or respect because they believe all of the above.

Much to their demise.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I don’t know why you are stubbornly clinging to the idea that minority want preferential treatment or free stuff from Republicans. That isn’t the case for the majority of them.

Groups are already lining up on Obama demanding payback.

Latino groups to Obama: You owe Latinos the election, now pass immigration reform

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/latino-groups-obama-owe-latinos-election-now-pass-194113601–election.html

Moesart on November 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM

My poor country. I hope the next two to four years won’t be too devastating and will be recoverable.
But they are already talking about putting more regulations in place. And it seems Obamacare won’t go away. And it is looking as if they are going to raise the debt ceiling again..
Did anybody here like Grease II?. It sucked, didn’t it… Well, it is really starting to look as if it will be Greece II around here.. And guess what?.. It’s gonna suck too.. My poor, poor country.. :-(

Al Hall on November 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

All this shows is that RCP knows that the RNC is worthless on getting out Republicans to vote in Nov. every four years.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 8, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Mangus,

Red Commie.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Much to their demise.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Don’t count your dead white people before they’re in the ground.

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Also, if you don’t want people to think you live like this, then quit making videos bragging about living like this.

P.S. I know it’s satire, but to make effective satire you must know the thing, and she says as much at the end.

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

I forgot to add this, but that video is very NSFW.

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Mangus,
Red Commie.
APACHEWHOKNOWS on November 8,
2012 at 12:06 PM

Case in point, this idiotic comment. ^

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Also, if you don’t want people to think you live like this, then
quit making videos bragging about living like this.
P.S. I know it’s satire, but to make effective satire you must
know the thing, and she says as much at the end.
DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Because all white are like Honey Boo Boo

and as far as I know, myself and the majority of black folks in this country weren’t involved in making that video.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

However I think Mitt being brave enough to speak to the NAACP was a start. They were unclassy idiots but I think he put the first chip in that wall, planted a small seed in someones mind.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Beautifully stated. Not sure why Republicans/Conservatives and their politicians can’t get this.

Well I do, and the comments sections of Hotair.com are a perfect petri dish of this behavior, they continuously project their prejudices against brown people, express their belief that we are all lazy bums who don’t work, we are all criminals, we are all single parents name Shanequa, looking for handouts, our women are welfare queens and our men a thugs that smoke weed all day, we are all illegal immigrant bums or steal jobs(if we are working), we don’t pay taxes, our children are derelicts(and if we find ourselves with child we are either making a bee-line to the welfare office or the abortion clinic, we participate in group think and we aren’t worthy their time or respect because they believe all of the above.

Much to their demise.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

If you don’t think these “stereotypes” don’t hold some truth in the black community then you are not looking at reality. And don’t take any of this too personal…all groups treat “others” with distrust which explains the self segregation that always occurs with all cultures.

Statistically black crime brutalizes whites so since we are approaching minority status, I am excited by our soon to be victimhood status.

All joking aside, we will work through this…going to take another century probably but eventually we will all come to a common ground.

ClassicCon on November 8, 2012 at 2:59 PM

If you don’t think these “stereotypes”
don’t hold some truth in the black
community then you are not looking at
reality. And don’t take any of this too
personal…all groups treat “others” with
distrust which explains the self
segregation that always occurs with all
cultures.
Statistically black crime brutalizes whites
so since we are approaching minority
status, I am excited by our soon to be
victimhood status.
All joking aside, we will work through
this…going to take another century
probably but eventually we will all come
to a common ground.
ClassicCon on November 8, 2012 at 2:59
PM

All stereotypes hold some truth, that is how they develop in nature. But I asked that it be assumed first that I get up and go to work everyday, I am educated, my daughter was born in wedlock, I pay taxes, and don’t listen to hiphop before proven otherwise and I am written off.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Because all white are like Honey Boo Boo

and as far as I know, myself and the majority of black folks in this country weren’t involved in making that video.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I’ve never watched honey boo boo, but I grew up in a rural area so I’m sure I know the type. I’ve seen how the welfare state has destroyed white people where I grew up, so I know better than many that it’s not simply black people. The welfare state destroys a segment of the population in every community.

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

I’ve never watched honey boo boo, but I grew up in a rural area so I’m sure I know the type. I’ve seen how the welfare state has destroyed white people where I grew up, so I know better than many that it’s not simply black people. The welfare state destroys a segment of the population in every community.

DFCtomm on November 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Generational welfare and the welfare mentally has done a great disservice to blacks but I cannot deride it because I have received it, and because I am part of that community I know there are many of whom it is a means to and end, not a means for eternity.

I, as a small child, was a recipient of welfare, housed by section 8 subsidies,I went to subsidized childcare , was fed by foodstamps,and the free school lunch and breakfast program when my mother found herself abandoned and a single parent. All which gave her the means to meet our basic needs to ultimately become a college educated, multiple job working, taxpaying citizens for the past errr 34 years.

And while I personally have not been on foodstamps or welfare in my adult life, I did find myself in a position with a small child who we thought at the time had a bowl disease or celiacs, with two out of work parents, everything of value pawned or sold off… I applied for and received medicaid for children and took advantage of that until I found work and health insurance.

It is what it is, and was what it was, and I’m not ashamed of it. But I try to paint others who receive these services with a broad because I’ve been on the receiving end of that judgement and it’s frankly humiliating.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 7:38 PM

It is what it is, and was what it was, and I’m not ashamed of it. But I try to paint others who receive these services with a broad because I’ve been on the receiving end of that judgement and it’s frankly humiliating.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Try NOT to paint…

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM

I don’t know why you are stubbornly clinging to the idea that minority want preferential treatment or free stuff from Republicans. That isn’t the case for the majority of them. They just want to be RESPECTED and shown attention (like Bush did with Latino). The less racist Republican appear, the more appealing they will be to minorities. No need for preferential treatment or free stuff.

jules on November 8, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Beautifully stated. Not sure why Republicans/Conservatives and their politicians can’t get this.

Well I do, and the comments sections of Hotair.com are a perfect petri dish of this behavior, they continuously project their prejudices against brown people, express their belief that we are all lazy bums who don’t work, we are all criminals, we are all single parents name Shanequa, looking for handouts, our women are welfare queens and our men a thugs that smoke weed all day, we are all illegal immigrant bums or steal jobs(if we are working), we don’t pay taxes, our children are derelicts(and if we find ourselves with child we are either making a bee-line to the welfare office or the abortion clinic, we participate in group think and we aren’t worthy their time or respect because they believe all of the above.

Much to their demise.

Magnus on November 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Concur. Whatever happens, the safety net needs to be maintained while incenting people to get off the hammock and to work. Therein is the rub, safety net hammock

AH_C on November 9, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Therein is the rub, safety net hammock

AH_C on November 9, 2012 at 7:36 AM

should be “safety net <> hammock”

AH_C on November 9, 2012 at 7:38 AM

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