Initial Pollster Ratings: Winners and Losers

These are still based on preliminary results from this afternoon, so these could change, but the following is a review of 11 pollsters who had at least 5 state polls in the final 2 weeks of the election:

Average Miss:

  1. Grove Insights: 1.4%
  2. SurveyUSA: 1.8%
  3. YouGov: 2%
  4. Gravis: 2.3%
  5. Pulse Opinion Research: 2.48%
  6. We Ask America: 2.5%
  7. NBC/Marist: 2.7%
  8. PPP: 3.1%
  9. Rasmussen: 3.9%
  10. American Research Group: 4.3%
  11. Mason-Dixon: 4.9%

Partisan Index:

  1. We Ask America: Obama+0.2%
  2. SurveyUSA: Obama+0.3%
  3. Grove Insights: R+0.8%
  4. PPP: R+0.8%
  5. Mason-Dixon: R+0.9%
  6. YouGov: R+1.2%
  7. NBC/Marist: R+1.4%
  8. Gravis: R+2.1%
  9. Pulse Opinion Research: R+2.4%
  10. Rasmussen: R+3.1%
  11. American Resarch Group: R+4.2%

Pollster Score (Partisan Index + Avg. Miss)

  1. SurveyUSA: 2.1
  2. Grove Insight: 2.2
  3. We Ask America: 2.7
  4. YouGov: 3.2
  5. PPP: 3.9
  6. NBC/Marist: 4.1
  7. Gravis: 4.4
  8. Pulse Opinion Research: 4.9
  9. Mason-Dixon: 5.8
  10. Rasmussen: 7
  11. American Research Group: 8.5

So, who won and who lost? I think the three clear winners are SurveyUSA, who was 2nd in both partisan lean and average miss; Grove Insight, who had the lowest average miss and was 3rd in partisan lean; and YouGov, who has demonstrated that online polling can be equal to, if not superior to traditional phone polling.

The big losers are Rasmussen and ARG, who both missed bit AND missed big to Romney’s side, and Mason-Dixon who missed by the widest average margin of any poll, though at least they missed to both sides.

PPP was only mediocre in state polling, despite his success at the national head-to-head, coming in 8th in average accuracy and tied at 3rd in partisan lean.

Gravis also had a respectable showing after many, including myself, criticized them for being well off in their polling to start. It seems they finally got their feet under them to a reasonable extent by the end. They came in 4th in accuracy, though they ranked 8th in partisan lean.