For the past year conservatives have put their trust in one pollster and one pollster alone. While nearly every other pollster showed President Obama leading throughout the last year’s presidential race, Rasmussen Reports consistently showed better numbers for Romney, and had Romney leading through much of the last month. Conservative pundits claimed that Rasmussen was the only pollster showing the true state of the race, even though previous studies suggested that Rasmussen’s numbers actually leaned too far to the right in previous elections. The Election Day results are now in, and Rasmussen was not only off in their projection, but far off in many cases. Consider the following numbers:
- Rasmussen’s last national poll had Romney with a one point lead (49 percent to 48 percent). Obama ended up winning by two points (50 percent to 48 percent).
- Rasmussen had Romney winning Virginia by two points (50 percent to 48 percent). With 97 percent of precincts reporting Obama is winning Virginia by three points (51 percent to 48 percent).
- Rasmussen Reports final Iowa poll had Romney winning the state by one point (49 percent to 48 percent). With 96 percent of precincts reporting Obama is winning Iowa by six points (52 percent to 46 percent).
- Rasmussen had Romney and Obama tied at 49 percent in Wisconsin. With 98 percent of precincts reporting Obama is currently winning Wisconsin by seven points (53 percent to 46 percent).
- In Colorado, Rasmussen Reports had Romney winning by three points (50 percent to 47 percent). With 90 percent of precincts reporting Obama is winning Colorado by four points (51 percent to 47 percent).
- In Ohio, Rasmussen Reports had the race tied at 49 percent. With 90 percent of precincts reporting Obama is currently winning the state by two points (50 percent to 48 percent).
Rasmussen’s biggest problem was they consistently had more Republicans in their samples that Democrats, even though other pollsters showed Democrats outnumbered Republicans. The actual election results proved Rasmussen and Chambers wrong. Exit polls from yesterday show that Democrats actually outnumbered Republicans by six percentage points. This is largely attributable to the fact that many former Republicans now identify themselves as independents. The other pollsters accounted for this conversion. Rasmussen Reports did not.
These margins of inaccuracy may not seem like much, but the other pollsters, such as Public Policy Polling, We Ask America, and Survey USA, did get their predictions right, which proves that it was possible. In many cases, like in Wisconsin, Rasmussen Reports strayed far from the average of other pollsters. Over the last year, Rasmussen has consistently been to the right of the Real Clear Politics average of polls, and now the election results prove that they “wrongly right.” This fact is worth keeping in mind as Rasmussen releases polls in future years for the 2014 midterms and the 2016 presidential election.