Tags: polls | inflated | obama | lead

Pollsters Inflated Obama Lead

Wednesday, 05 Nov 2008 09:18 AM

By David A. Patten

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Tuesday’s presidential election was a sharp setback not only for the GOP but also for major national pollsters who saw their gloom-and-doom predictions of a double-digit drubbing of John McCain blow up in their faces.

Many pollsters predicted the McCain-Palin ticket would lose by almost twice the actual margin.

As of noon Wednesday, Obama had won 63 million votes — 52 percent of the vote — compared with McCain’s 46 percent and 55.8 million.

This amounts to a 6-point difference between the two candidates.

Two polls emerged as the most accurate: The Pew Research and Rasmussen Reports, which showed the race precisely at 52 percent to 46 percent.

But poll predictions of Gallup, Reuters/Zogby, ABC/Washington Post, and CBS all had Obama winning by between 9 and 11 points.

The election’s outcome clearly was outside the margin of error for several of the polls.

Even the RealClearPolitics “poll of polls,” an average of 15 national polls, showed Obama ahead by 7.5 points.

“One thing is clear at this point,” Newsmax columnist Dick Morris reported just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday. “The polls were wrong!”

Morris predicted early in the night that Obama “is not winning by the margins the polls predicted.”

Some GOP pundits, pointing to polling errors that favored Democrats in 2000 and 2004, warned before the election that the Obama campaign was using inflated polls numbers to make the election’s outcome appear inevitable, dampening enthusiasm and support for McCain in the closing days of the campaign, and reducing GOP voter turnout.

The final predictions from the major national polling organizations:

 

Organization

Final Poll Results

Margin for Obama

Gallup

Obama 55

McCain 44

+11

Reuters/Zogby

Obama 54.1

McCain 42.7

 

+11

Marist Poll

Obama 52

McCain 43

+9

ABC/Washington Post

Obama 53

McCain 44

+9

CBS

Obama 51

McCain 42

+9

NBC News/Wall St. Journal

Obama 51

McCain 43

+8

IBD/TIPP

Obama 51.5

McCain 44.3

 

+8

CNN/Opinion Research

Obama 53

McCain 46

+7

Ipsos/McLatchy

Obama 53

McCain 46

 

+7

FOX

Obama 50

McCain 43

+7

Pew Research

Obama 52

McCain 46

+6

Rasmussen Reports

Obama 52

McCain 46

 

+6

George Washington University Battleground Poll (Lake Research)*

Obama 51.5

McCain 46.5

+5

Diageo/Hotline

Obama 50

McCain 45

+5

 

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