Tags: Zogby | Interview

Zogby: Pollsters Not Wrong on Election

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 05 Nov 2008 04:39 PM

Noted pollster John Zogby tells Newsmax that despite some reports to the contrary, the polling industry did a fine job of predicting the outcome of the presidential election.

Newsmax’s Ashley Martella pointed out that many pollsters had predicted a double-digit win for Barack Obama, while the actual margin was close to 6 percent, and asked the founder of Zogby International: “Where did you think they went wrong?”

Zogby responded: “I don’t think anybody went wrong at all. To be honest with you, I was one of the double-digit guys. I had it at 10.5, and it was actually at 6.2. So we missed Obama by 2 and we missed McCain by I think 2.3. I’m very happy with this.

“Obviously we captured the trend. Would I have liked to have gotten it at 6.2? Sure. But no, I don’t think we went wrong …

“The polling industry should be very proud of itself.”

VIDEO: Zogby Says Pollsters Should Be Proud

Asked what the data shows to have been John McCain’s biggest problem, Zogby said: “Age came up as a factor, but I’m not sure it came up as a factor among those who were seriously going to vote for him…

“I think McCain’s biggest problem was first and foremost the Republican brand, which was hurt, and secondly the financial crisis that took place. His response to it was erratic, somewhat frantic, and he also misspoke about the fundamental strength of the U.S. economy.”

Obama’s biggest strength, on the other hand, was “the fact that what Americans were looking for first and foremost was change…

“What they wanted was a problem solver and a consensus builder and I think that both Obama and McCain had the potential to persuade voters that’s who they were. I think Obama just stayed more focused on that image and on that message.

“Plus he was cool and confident, which worked for Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.”

With the Democrats now in control of Congress and the White House, Martella asked if Zogby was worried about partisanship and one-party rule.

“On one hand, that’s how major reform gets enacted, when there’s one party rule,” he answered.

“But for those who worry about one-party rule, don’t worry, that one party will cannibalize itself in short form.”

Zogby added that if Republicans are to learn anything from this election cycle, it’s that “they need the middle. They need a presence in the middle. Perhaps they were too ideological. I also believe the neoconservatives hurt the Republicans very deeply, especially in terms of the war in Iraq, spending, tax cuts without cuts in spending.

“We may be at a point just like 30 years ago [when] the liberals had run out of fresh ideas. Perhaps conservatives have run out of fresh ideas for a while. It’s a cyclical thing.”

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