Nov

03

2012

Justin Taylor|10:18 am CT

Which Presidential Polls Were Most Accurate in 2008? (Updated)

Update: See the correction below from a commenter:

That “Initial Report” list is outdated and invalid. It was compiled in the hours immediately following the election, long before all votes had been counted. It was based on an estimate of a 6.15 percent Obama lead. However, Obama actually won by a 7.2 margin, 52.9 to 45.7 percent (FEC verified).

Fordham later released a complete analysis based on the official popular vote outcome. In this report, Pew and Rasmussen scored much lower, being beat out by eight other pollsters.

[Original post below.]

According to Fordham University political scientist Costas Panagopoulos, the most accurate pollsters in the 2008 presidential election were the Pew Research Center and Rasmussen Reports. Pollsters, on average, tended to overestimate Obama’s support, though not by much. 17 of the 23 pollsters overstated Obama’s final count; 4 of the 23 underestimated it; 2 of the 23 (Pew and Rasmussen) got it exactly right.

Here’s the ranking:

1T. Rasmussen (11/1-3)**

1T. Pew (10/29-11/1)**

3. YouGov/Polimetrix (10/18-11/1)

4. Harris Interactive (10/20-27)

5. GWU (Lake/Tarrance) (11/2-3)*

6T. Diageo/Hotline (10/31-11/2)*

6T. ARG (10/25-27)*

8T. CNN (10/30-11/1)

8T. Ipsos/McClatchy (10/30-11/1)

10. DailyKos.com (D)/Research 2000 (11/1-3)

11. AP/Yahoo/KN (10/17-27)

12. Democracy Corps (D) (10/30-11/2)

13. FOX (11/1-2)

14. Economist/YouGov (10/25-27)

15. IBD/TIPP (11/1-3)

16. NBC/WSJ (11/1-2)

17. ABC/Post (10/30-11/2)

18. Marist College (11/3)

19. CBS (10/31-11/2)

20. Gallup (10/31-11/2)

21. Reuters/ C-SPAN/ Zogby (10/31-11/3)

22. CBS/Times (10/25-29)

23. Newsweek (10/22-23)

HT: The List

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