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Best State Poll Predictions were from Rasmussen and Survey USA.-- Polipundit has a nice review of which polls did better in predicting state results. Rasmussen comes in 2d of the 11 polling agencies that Polipundit reviews. Survey USA comes in first.

Here are some of the results:
#11 - The LA Times Poll. ... .

#10 - Fox News Poll. ...

#9 - Quinnipiac University Poll. ...

#8 - American Research Group. ...

#7 - Strategic Vision. ...

#6 - Zogby. Mr. "John Kerry Will Win" made predictions in 20 states, and in 13 Battleground States. Zogby got 16 calls right, and 4 wrong, and was off by an average of 6.10 points. Two of his final polls were the closest major poll, and another one of his final polls was off by more than 10 points. In the Battleground States, Zogby got 9 right, and 4 wrong, and was off by an average of 4.92 points. [I don't know whether this refers to Zogby's next to last predictions or the final ones released on Tuesday afternoon.--Jim]

#5 - Mason-Dixon. M-D made predictions in 24 states, and in 13 Battleground States. M-D got 23 calls right, and 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 5.75 points. None of their calls was the closest, but none of their polls was invalidated for being more than 10 points off. In the Battleground States, M-D got 12 right, 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 5.62 points.

#4 - CNN/USA Today/Gallup - CUG made predictions in 15 states, and in 12 Battleground States. CUG got 11 calls right and 4 wrong, and was off by an average of 5.33 points. Two of their final polls was the closest for that state (both in Battleground States), and none of their polls were invalidated for being more than 10 points off. In the Battleground States, CUG got 8 right and 4 wrong, and was off by an average of 5.33 points.

#3 - Research 2000 - R2K made predictions in 13 states, and in 7 Battleground States. R2K got 12 calls right, and 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 5.15 points. One of their final polls was the closest for that state ( in a Battleground State), and none of their polls were invalidated for being more than 10 points off. In the Battleground States, R2K got 6 right and 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 4.57 points.

#2 - A close finish, but number two is Rasmussen Reports. RR made predictions in 33 states, and in 13 Battleground States. RR got all their calls correct, without a single miss, and they were off by an average of 5.82 points. What hurt them was their wide variance of accuracy in support. Three of their final polls were the closest for their state, but another 3 of their final polls were off by more than 10 points. In the Battleground States, RR got all 13 right, and they were off by an average of 4.15 points.

#1 - (drum roll, please) Survey USA. SUSA made predictions in 30 states, and in 9 Battleground States. SUSA got 29 right and 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 3.70 points. So, why does SUSA win with 29/30, and beat RR take second with 33/33? It comes down to hitting the bullseye. EIGHTEEN of Survey USA's final polls were the closest for that state, almost twice as many as every other major poll PUT TOGETHER! Also, none of their polls were invalidated for being more than 10 points off. In the Battleground States, SUSA got 8 right and 1 wrong, and was off by an average of 3.44 points. Three of SUSA's final polls in Battleground States were the closest for that state, again the best of any poll.
At least nationally, Rasmussen was weighting by an assumption of equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats (which turned out to be true), while most advocates of weighting by party ID were urging weighting as a way to reduce the polling results for Republicans supposedly to correct for the higher percentages of Democrats (as determined by 2000 exit polling). Rasmussen's final national prediction was 50.2% for Bush and 48.5% for Kerry (which was off by less than 2% and got Kerry's share almost exactly).

So from this one election alone, the answer to weighting national polls would seem to be one of the following:

(1) do not weight by party, which allows you to catch a switch in party ID (as actually happened in 2004);
(2) weight by party according to exit polling in 2004 (equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats);
(3) to smooth out extreme swings in party ID in particular polls, weight by average party ID as revealed in polling done that current polling season;
(4) guess right about the weight to be used (as Rasmussen did this year nationally, perhaps with a good reason, perhaps not).

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Real Clear Politics rates the pollsters,--
  2. Best State Poll Predictions were from Rasmussen and Survey USA.--
Real Clear Politics rates the pollsters,--

RealClearPolitics.com, the best of the poll sites this year, has rated the performance of the pollsters--both in the national race and at the state level. The state results differ slightly from the results I reported recently from Polipundit. RealClearPolitics reports in part:

At the national level the answer to the question is pretty straightforward. Ed Goeas's GW-Battleground Vote Projection and Pew Research got it exactly right. Goeas's final Battleground projection was Bush 51.2, Kerry 47.8, Nader 0.5 and Pew's final allocation was 51-48-1.

CBS News/NY Times also nailed the final spread in the race (Bush +3), though they didn't allocate undecideds which makes their final less impressive than Battleground's and Pew's.

Raghavan Mayur at TIPP also deserves a mention for outperforming almost all of the big media pollsters and coming in just a tick off the final results with their final Bush 50.1, Kerry 48.0, Nader 1.1 projection. Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports also had a solid final result with their Bush 50.2, Kerry 48.5 final projection.

USA Today/CNN/Gallup finished poorly this year. Ironically, Gallup would have finished at or near the top of the list had they allocated undecideds 50/50 like Pew, as opposed to giving what appears to be 100% of the undecideds to Kerry.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Real Clear Politics rates the pollsters,--
  2. Best State Poll Predictions were from Rasmussen and Survey USA.--