Pollsters’ Prediction Performance

I am thrilled that Obama did so well in yesterday’s primaries. What was especially interesting to follow was the pollsters’ predictions. They were all over the map, of course. My favorite pollster (and political writer) is Markos Moulitsas, the guy behind DailyKos. He always says he pulls his numbers from a very special place, which I’ll let him describe for you below:

Prediction performance by kos

Wed May 07, 2008 at 08:57:48 AM PDT

According to SurveyUSA’s pollster scorecards, which track 8 different measures of scoring polling results:

North Carolina: PPP was the most accurate by five measures, Zogby by three.

Indiana: PPP was the most accurate by five measures, InsiderAdvantage by three.

Overall, Research 2000, who does polling for Daily Kos, was second best in North Carolina (out of 13) and fourth best in Indiana (out of 10).

Meanwhile, here are the results of my last three predictions:

My prediction ----Actual ----Margin of error
PA C:54.0 O:46.0 ----C:54.6 O:45.6 ----1.0 point
NC C:43.9 O:56.1 ----C:41.5 O:56.2 ----2.5 points
IN C:51.1 O:48.9 ----C:50.7 O:49.3 ----0.8 points

Damn NC burns me up, since I was one tenth of a percent off on Obama, but forgot to account for “no preference” and Mike Gravel on the ballot. Combined, they got 2.4 percent. I would’ve guessed 1 percent, so that would’ve brought my margin of error to under 2 points. But that’s just me being greedy.

Given that I pull these out of you-know-where, it seems my ass is more accurate than the pollsters! I jest, I jest. The polling composites were a big part of my prediction system.


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