Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

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Thought it would be interesting to take a look at how the actual results compared to the final Real Clear Politics average (essentially the last week of polling) on a state by state basis. As you can see, Obama blew away expectations in the south, much as he did in South Carolina. Where it was tight, Obama overpeformed moderately but in Clinton's strongholds, she either over-performed somewhat or matched expectations, which was crucial for her last night. As for which pollster leaves the night a winner, you got to give it up for Survey USA, which was the most accurate pollster almost half the time. Hey, at least John Zogby has Missouri...

StateRCPActualBest Poll
AlabamaClinton +2Obama +14N/A all off by 10+
ArizonaClinton +6Clinton +9Behavior Research Center C+10
CaliforniaClinton +2.6Clinton +10Survey USA C+10
ConnecticutClinton +4Obama +4Survey USA O+2
GeorgiaObama +15Obama +35N/A all off by 10+
IllinoisObama +33Obama +31Chicago Tribune O+31
MassachusettsClinton +12.2Clinton +15Survey USA C+17
MissouriClinton +4Obama +1Zogby O+3
New JerseyClinton +7Clinton +10Survey USA C+10
New YorkClinton +17.2Clinton +17Survey USA C+18 WNBC/Marist C+16
TennesseeClinton +13Clinton +13Rasmussen C+10

Tags: polls, Super Tuesday (all tags)



Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

It speaks well for SurveyUSA.

by BigBoyBlue 2008-02-06 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

Indeed it does!  After watching them nail MA, CT, NY, and NJ early, I stopped even thinking about California, figuring they'd nail that too.  And sure enough, they did.

They did miss on Missouri and Alabama, but overall, their record was stellar.

by RT 2008-02-06 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

So she essentially held serve in most states and he overperformed in a few.  Really, if you take Zogby's crazy polls out of the equation the polling was pretty good in most states.  To the extent it was off, it tended to underestimate Obama.  Again, taking Zogby's lunacy out of the equation.

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

A bunch of polling firms whiffed on California, such as Rasmussen (showing an Obama win,) Suffolk U (showing an Obama win,) and Field (way off.)  Zogby was way, way off a few times here, but Rasmussen was also way off on some other states.  

by georgep 2008-02-06 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

I'm pretty sure the last Rasmussen poll showed a Clinton win.  The last Field poll showed Clinton leading by two. 2008/02/analysis_of_cal.html

I wasn't aware that Suffolk polled Cali.  I never saw it if they did.

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

The last Rasmussen showed a Clinton loss. ontent/politics/election_20082/2008_pres idential_election/california/election_20 08_california_democratic_presidential_pr imary

I did not state that the Field poll showed an Obama win as well, only that it was way off, which is true.  

Suffolk poll showing Obama winning California: s/docs/140-CAStatewideDem%26Ind-Frequenc ies.pdf

by georgep 2008-02-06 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

OK, so two polls showed a '1' point win for Obama in California.  Fair enough, although they clearly didn't make an impact on me or my thinking.  Nonetheless, thanks for the info.    

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

The "he has mad momentum in California" theme was fueled by four polls.

1.  The Field poll had it at 2% Clinton (with momentum towards Obama) and the note that they found that early voting was a tie between Clinton and Obama.  They were very wrong.  Early voting was well in favor of Clinton instead.

2. Zogby showing tremendous movement towards Obama, a complete and fatal error, amounting to an unbelievable 23% mistake.  

3. Rasmussen showed a 1% Obama lead.  They ended up being wrong by 11%, which is very high.

4. Suffolk U - same.

They totally blew it.

On the bright side:

1. Survey USA hit it exactly on the button.  EXACTLY.  

2. Mason-Dixon was almost exactly right on the button, off by only 1%

3. ARG was vey, very close as well (within 2%)

S-USA is obviously the best pollster of them all (look at their findings for MA, NJ, etc. for further verification,) Mason-Dixon did well, as did ARG for CA.   Zogby is too biased to be looked upon with confidence, Rasmussen looked pretty bad, too.    

by georgep 2008-02-07 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

i never like to say this about any poll.

but zogby is crap .

ever since he released a memo attacking the clinton camp i knew he was full of it.

yes survey usa has been the best out there for a while now.

they scored better than the field poll this go around

by lori 2008-02-06 09:24AM | 0 recs

Your piece "A Tie Goes To Clinton" is linked from Real Clear Politics!

Way to go.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-02-06 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

by the way clinton is leading in new mexico with 98% reporting.

wonder when they'll call it for her

by lori 2008-02-06 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

Not for a while.  They're having some problems with three precincts.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-02-06 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

plus, aren't there some 6,000 provisional ballots still out?

by mecarr 2008-02-06 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

I was studying the difference between Zogby and SurveyUSA yesterday and their methods. In short, SurveyUSA has more of what's called internal "validity" to their surveys. Especially the two surveys with identical results a day apart - that's a sure sign of validity. According to their site they also dial randomly both listed and unlisted numbers, something that Zogby might do but doesn't list doing at his site.

I also think that since Zogby is an Obama Superdelegate that lends statistical bias error to his polls, that while not evident, is a possibility. Also, I believe someone here said Zogby polls only in English - a big significance in California.

by papersunday 2008-02-06 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

I love it when polls go wrong. I am one of those that cant wait to see the public lose all confidence in these polls. Just go vote and not trying to play amateur pollster and spend more time analyzing actual politics because most people do not have a clue on how to interpret data. it is not going to kill anyone to wait a few extra days until election day to figure out who won. Leave the detailed attention to polling to the campaign strategists.

by Pravin 2008-02-06 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

Zogby nailing Missouri only goes to show that a broken clock is right twice a day.

I will be waiting for his memo saying how he saw a Clinton uptick in California the last night of his tracking but didn't report it because it was only one night.

by gomer 2008-02-06 10:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

So it looks like, contrary to what the media's been saying, Obama actually outperformed expectations in a lot of states. I don't disagree that the media has been more friendly to Obama than Clinton as a rule, but I think the way they've been treating Clinton winning New Jersey and Massachusetts as an upset is ridiculous, given the margins she had a week ago in the polls. I am also curious why people are making a big deal out of Obama losing Massachusetts, where he was down by 30 a couple weeks ago, and keep highlighting the high-profile endorsements he received there as a reason he should have won it. Yet in treating New Jersey like a swing state, they fail to mention that Clinton had endorsements from all of the big name Democrats in the state. Not to mention half the media market.

by democrattotheend 2008-02-06 10:31AM | 0 recs
Exit polls

What happened with the exit polls? The ones that were posted on the front page here yesterday ended up being drastically off in some cases. Obama was said to be +2 in MA and ended up losing by 15 points. Obama was said to be +7 (IIRC) in NJ and lost by 10 points.

Exit polls are supposed to be very, very solid with very small margins of error. The differences in at least these two cases are large. Anyone have any insight on what went wrong in those two places? Small undemographically sound sample sizes?

by Quinton 2008-02-06 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Exit polls

The CNN exit polling was basically horrible across the board.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Super Tuesday Polls Vs. Reality

CNN says the California Latino vote was 29%.  Holy crap.  One of the polls had it at 27%, and everyone thought it was too high.  It was only 16% last time.

by randym77 2008-02-06 12:36PM | 0 recs


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