Which Presidential Polls are the Most Accurate and What are they Saying? UPDATE 11-5-2012

On a day when the national media is touting a rise in the national polls by President Obama the City County Observer decided to take some initiative and examine the past results of the polls that are being cited by the media. The best website to go to for examining the widest range of polls is a site called www.realclearpolitics.com. This site publishes daily and average of the last months polls from nine different polls. Today’s average of polls has President Obama leading Mitt Romney by 0.4% nationally down from leading by 4.5% when this article originated.

Two polls have more historical accuracy that the other polls that in some cases overweight Democrats by as much as 11 points. These two polls are Rasmussen Tracking and Gallup Tracking both of which report results of the trailing week as opposed to the flavor of the day. Their algorithms for sampling are slightly different yet both converge well.

For the 2008 election in which Barack Obama defeated John McCain by a 52.9% to 45.6% margin Rasmussen predicted an Obama victory by 52% to 46% while Gallup predicted an Obama victory of 53% to 42%. An average of those polls would have predicted a result of Obama 52.5% (0.75% error to the low side) to McCain 44% (7.8% error to the low side).

Similarly in the 2004 election when George Bush defeated John Kerry by a margin of 50.7% to 48.3 %, these two polls were very accurate with the average of the two predicting a Bush victory by a margin of 49.6% to 47.8% once again missing the margin of victory by less than 1%. Both polls under estimated Bush’s total while Rasmussen over estimated Kerry’s total by a scant 0.2% of the actual tally.

So with so many polls that were predicting an Obama landslide what do the two polls that have been historically accurate from a presidential election perspective predict if the election were held today?

The current numbers for these two polls are as follows:

Rasmussen Tracking: Romney 49% Obama 48%
Gallup Tracking: Romney 50% Obama 49%

Averages: Romney 49.5% Obama 48.5%

Of course the electoral college elects the President of the United States and both Rasmussen and Gallup give President Obama an edge on the basis of his large leads in high population Democrat dominated states like California and New York. Tomorrow should be quite interesting.

63 Responses to Which Presidential Polls are the Most Accurate and What are they Saying? UPDATE 11-5-2012

  1. tea anyone Reply

    August 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Just in is a poll conducted by “TEA ANYONE” concerning who the voters shall select as the next Mayor of Evansville.

    “Johnny Boy Tax Apple”-never.

    Mayor Winneneke-never happen again if he doesn’t get his act together.

    Marsha Abell-are you kidding?

    Joe Kiefer_sorry.

    Steve Melcher-maybe.

    John Friend-let’s get it done!

    Eric Williams-possible.

    Al Lindsey-are you kidding?

    None of the above- 75% voted not in favor of the above choices because it is to early to tell! Thank God the voters selected “none of the above”!

    • Michele Stratton Reply

      November 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

      If you folks are going to maintain a viable posture in polling numbers of this tight race, please update your site accordingly. Today is November 5, 2012. This article is dated October 23, 2012. Totally
      outdated and misleading information.

      • Michele Stratton Reply

        November 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm

        If you folks ask for a reply, then please print it with accuracy; the way I submitted it. Thank yo.

  2. Andre Cotton Reply

    August 15, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Rassmussen is a Republican Poster and for this election cycle is clearly biased; however I find their polling interesting in that when Obama is ahead, I know he’s way ahead, when they say he’s tied, I know just ahead, when they say he’s 1-2 points behind, that means he’s tied, Obama behind 4-5 points means Obama down by 2-3 points. At this phase in the election this is state of accuracy. In the month of October, their polling will more accurate and neutral. The Rassmussen Polling will show the truth that they alreadyb know; that is Obama winning the popular vote by lest than four points and winning the Electoral Vote by a land slide.

    • CCO_MakingItReal Reply

      September 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

      Love the post. Right on!

    • William Starry Reply

      October 2, 2012 at 9:04 am

      And yet all the other polls are extremely liberal. Can not believe anything on the news, too far skewed to either side. Read and educate yourself, don’t listen to the inaccurate polls. Cast your votes on election day, then wait and see.

      • Michael Reply

        October 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm

        Not so fast my friend. These are the ratings for performance in 2008. While Rasmussen had a very high accuracy rating, Gallup did not. CNN however did very well during 2008 as well. Rasmussen had a A- rating. CNN had a B+ rating. Gallup (right leaning as everyone knows) had a C- rating in 2008. Check out CNN’s poll and tell me if it’s all about liberals.
        Poll Date Sample MoE Obama (D) Romney (R) Spread
        RCP Average 10/18 – 10/28 – – 48.6 46.7 Obama +1.9
        Rasmussen Reports 10/28 – 10/28 750 LV 4.0 48 50 Romney +2
        Gravis Marketing 10/27 – 10/27 730 LV 3.6 50 49 Obama +1
        PPP (D) 10/26 – 10/28 718 LV 3.7 51 47 Obama +4
        Purple Strategies 10/23 – 10/25 600 LV 4.0 46 44 Obama +2
        CNN/Opinion Research 10/23 – 10/25 741 LV 3.5 50 46 Obama +4 as everyone knows) had a C- rating in


    • Kevin Smith Reply

      October 17, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      How about you check into Gallup now too though? It appears that Romney is 6 ahead there, so go ahead and take 2-3 from romney he will still win the majority of votes. If the electoral college says that Romney loses, then maybe we will finally get that system fixed. Why in the day and age of technology is voting done like this? Every citizen should get an equal vote and every vote should be counted.

      • Publius Reply

        November 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        You understand that this country is a Republic and not a democracy, right? Know the reasoning behind electoral college voting rather than national majority? It has nothing to do with technology. Educate yourself. Democracy is two wolves and sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

    • Harsh Times Reply

      October 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

      That kool-aid is going to sour on you on the 6th…believe the polls.

    • RomneyLandsSlide Reply

      October 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Here’s the poll that will count and sending Obama and Michelle and the kids back to Hawaii.

      The one on Nov 7th or 8th or 9th….

      • yas Reply

        October 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm

        For shame: so little respect – that would be President and the First Lady to you Mr Patriot.

        • Jake Reply

          October 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm

          Where were you when all those liberals were shouting President Bush is not MY President. I am not for Obama, but have always considered him “My President” but that’s the difference between a liberal and an independent.

          • Michael

            October 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm

            Yeah, right on, the liberals like to respect the president when it’s THEIR choice, Romney is going to win this and send Obummer packing, he was my president, but not a good one…….

          • Z27

            November 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm

            When your failures lead to the deaths of four Americans and then you lie to the American people and the world about it, you lose the right to claim respect from anyone!

          • Mark

            November 4, 2012 at 2:46 am

            Your kidding right? GWB, Iraq mean anything to you? WMD mean anything to you? Mission accomplished mean anything to you? How about this, I will step away from President Bush for a second and see if you have any idea beyond Faux news, that the light has been shed on Libya. Many times over and your post is as ignorant as it truly sounds..

    • Anne Coulter Reply

      October 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Yeah… and Gallup is also Republican and Monmouth which has Romney up +3 so they must all be in the “pubs” corner. How you or anyone of your mindset get throuigh any given day is a minor miracle – go have you “DEM” Kool Aid and leave politics to the grown-ups.

      • yas Reply

        October 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm

        Poor Ann:

        I am surprised your vitriol has not killed you yet. You engage in so much rumor mongering and character assassination. God guide your mouth and heart to a more peaceful place. I would hate to see what you would teach your children.

      • Gino Reply

        October 26, 2012 at 7:23 am


        As a Republican, I am truly ashamed that you are on the same team. What you do is not American and your patriotism only goes as far as what’s best for you. Your behavior is embarrassing to most Republicans because it doesn’t reflect who we are. Have you apologized for all the harm you did using the “r” word? Of course not. You are a self-proclaimed christian but you surely don’t act like one. Once America completely makes you irrelevant (you’re getting there quickly), we’ll all be better off.

    • michael cooke Reply

      October 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Dream on brothers. It is obviously that the 2 most important factors in this election are the economy and character. Are you better off today than 4 years ago? If you’re honest, you’ll say no. Character? Obama has none. He has either lied outright about the state of the country or he has manipulated what we hear through the Democratic run media. Romney wins with at at least 320 electoral votes. Do the math and see Barrack and Michelle packing their bags. Done deal.

      • MainStreeter Reply

        October 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        Want to put some money on that? You have the electoral amount right but the wrong candidate

    • donkey Reply

      October 26, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Andre is in serious denial

    • Jeff Reply

      October 27, 2012 at 10:50 am

      I am curious if you still feel that way now major polls show Obama down as much as six points and we are 10 days away from the election?

  3. Dr. John-Not the Night Tripper Reply

    September 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Gallup polls registered voters. Rassmussen polls likely voters. Likely voters are more likely to show up to vote than registered voters. Gallup also over-samples registered Democrats. These are the salient differences between the two organizations.

  4. Dr. John-Not the Night Tripper Reply

    September 19, 2012 at 7:27 am

    It is also the reason you will be sorely disappointed in the result of this election.

    • DAVID Reply

      October 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      I agree Romey will win . Obama has been bad for the country .

  5. CCO_MakingItReal Reply

    September 19, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Obama Leading Nationally, Sees Boost In Job Approval: Poll

    From the article:

    —-While none of these numbers is ideal for a president facing re-election, Obama is now tied with Romney (43 percent to 43 percent) on which candidate would be better on the economy. In July, Romney held a 6-point advantage on this question.

    Hart, the Democratic pollster, says this finding is potentially ominous for Romney. “Simply put, if Romney doesn’t win on dealing with the economy, he doesn’t win.”—-


  6. jason Reply

    September 20, 2012 at 12:12 am


    • DAVID Reply

      October 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      This should read bye bye Obama . The worst President ever.

      • MainStreeter Reply

        October 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

        Verses the man that wasted 1trillion on a war for no reason and caused the death of over 4,000 US service members and hundreds of thousands of people.

        • JoeBiden Reply

          October 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

          Agreed. Thanks to Obama, Carter is now the second worst US president.

          • Brad Linzy

            October 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

            If there was an award for the most cliched statement, this one might win it.

            Carter was not a good President. He was not an effective leader; however, this notion that he was one of the “worst ever” is totally misinformed and overblown… Carter didn’t do nearly the damage as, say, an FDR or an LBJ. He didn’t get us into one single solitary war, while Bush dragged us with false information and propaganda into TWO of them.

            Woodrow Wilson oversaw the creation of the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve AND proposed the United States join the League of Nations, precursor to the United Nations, a challenge on US sovereignty and subversion of the Constitution.

            Teddy Roosevelt started a civil war in Panama and put the US on a course interventionist foreign policy.

            Abraham Lincoln instituted the first draft, led the nation into a bloody Civil War that killed 750,000 Americans, including many civilians, and stomped upon the idea of State sovereignty, the Tenth Amendment, and the notion of a voluntary Union.

            Isn’t it a wonder how many of the most adored presidents of the past were among the biggest offenders of the Constitution, yet we moronically stick to the conventional wisdom perpetuated by mindless parrots and imbeciles?

            Doesn’t anyone have an original thought anymore?

          • MainStreeter

            October 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

            I agree with Brad. Carter gets a bum rap that isnt always earned. HE’s the one started getting tough on the Soviets. He put the grain embargo in place, started the large build up of the navy as well. He was also the first US president that made the protection of human rights a negotiating point for all countries that deal with the US, something that has been a bedrock of US foriegn policy since. Is he in the top tier? No probably not. He was definitely the victim of circumstances though.

          • JoeBiden

            October 27, 2012 at 4:52 pm

            Agree with Brad? Agree that Abraham Lincoln was one of the worst Presidents and Carter among the best?? No, Sir.

          • Brad Linzy

            October 27, 2012 at 9:32 pm

            Read what I said again, JoeBiden. I didn’t say Carter was among the best. I said it’s a cliche to say he’s the worst. The only people who say that are people who do not read or understand history. That is all.

      • susan mullen Reply

        October 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        No, that would be George Bush unless, of course, Mitt Romney becomes President. Then that honor might be his.

        • john j rambo Reply

          October 27, 2012 at 7:33 pm

          at least he will actually create jobs instead of being the main reason the unemployment rate is as high as it is. It is obvious that Obama encourages pieces of shit like you to live off well fare and take money away from hard working people.

          • Brad Linzy

            October 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm

            “Well fare”? Is that some kind of magic bus ride?

            Do you even know Susan to say something like that? Big news flash for you, not everyone who opposes Obama is for Romney, and not everyone voting for Obama is on “well fare”.

    • sylvia Reply

      October 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm


      • yas Reply

        October 25, 2012 at 8:07 pm

        wow so much hatred. I wonder how Jesus would can even think of coming to save us based on our racism, sexism, xenophobia, and hatred?

        • MainStreeter Reply

          November 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm

          If Jesus was real he would be pissed!

  7. Nancy Vlaisavljevich Reply

    September 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    when was the last time Obama had to choose which bill he could pay food or rent

    • MainStreeter Reply

      November 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      When he has a gop controlled congress trying to shut down the government he has to choose which bills to pay all the time. Unlike Romney who never had to struggle in his life, Obama DID come from humble means. To act as if he was a child of privledge is nuts.

  8. Jim Hart Reply

    September 24, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I am voting for the rich guy and that is final. I am tired of hearing all the poor whining that they need hand outs. I also love Romneys approach, why should he have to tell any of you dumb middle class and poor how he will cut taxes… it’s none of your business and if you do not like it, you can move to Mexico! Believe America it’s the Christian Way!

    • Marek Reply

      October 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      I am voting for the black guy and that is final. The whites have destroyed our country and it’s long past time for someone to bring true socialism to our godforsaken capitalist joke of a country. Obama understands the plight of the poor man and he understands that it is time for the wealth to be used to grow entitlements further.

      • john j rambo Reply

        October 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm

        yeah exactly, he lets the whole nation know that its ok to be a low life piece of shit and live off of hard working americans money. Socialism is what will destroy this country you dip shit

        • MainStreeter Reply

          November 4, 2012 at 12:12 pm

          Actually that would be romney whos a low-life, living off of the actual americans that work and unlike him pay taxes.

    • Wes Reply

      October 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

      Funny thing is Jim Hart. A. You are absolutely in the Romneys so called middle class because im sure you dont make 250k a year. B. The Christian way? Have you been to church? Because if you have you would realize that the church is about helping those left fortunate not shutting down programs to help elderly and poor families. Wake up and look around. Most of this country is barely hanging on and you want to take away the things that keep them afloat. And to boot Obama only had to have these problems because our last president was an incompetant war monger who should never have been elected BECAUSE HE LOST THE POPULAR VOTE!

      • cathy Reply

        October 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

        Our country is to be a collection of states. That is why we have the elect college. Each state votes for who they want. Over time we have given states more votes based on size. If it was changed to the popular, the way people campaigned would change.

    • Mark Reply

      November 4, 2012 at 2:50 am

      I;m voting for the Christian, its the Christian way…Obama/Biden 2012!

  9. Doug Canipe Reply

    September 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Congrats to the Repubs for giving us THE WORST ticket since Mondale/Ferraro.
    This will be the biggest “should have won without even trying but blew it due to total incompetence” failure since the original OJ trial.
    If Gary Johnson has been the Republican nominee this wouldn’t even be a race. Lesson to be learned. People don’t mind voting for a rich guy……but they won’t vote for an asshole.

    • Kevin Smith Reply

      October 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Yeah where is an other Abraham Lincoln when you need him? This country needs an intelligent, honest, successful candidate. Lets be truthful neither candidate is honest enough, only one is intelligent and successful, but due to his lack of charisma when compared to the alternative he can’t cover up his dishonesty as well and therfore loses his only lead. If only people could see through Obama’s charm. It is so blatantly obvious how empty of a person/leader he is. What has he done as a leader? He claims to have lead nations to the biggest treaty whatever for the middle east. Ohh yeah that’s why everything is going so well there.

      He has no leadership experience before his presidency. And what he has called leadership is just a lie. He cannot unite anyone, in fact I don’t know the last time the nation was so totally split as it is now. What has he done to unite us? Free hand outs. That’s the answer play robin hood Mr. President. Four more years of it and this country will be broken. Guaranteed.

      • Brad Linzy Reply

        October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

        Another Abraham Lincoln? Lincoln, contrary to the kindness bestowed upon him by historians, was largely an unconstitutional tyrant who helped drive the nation into an unnecessary and bloody civil war that killed more Americans than every other war we’ve been in combined, instituted the first federal draft, returned the nation to a fiat money scheme that inflated the currency and drove many into povverty, ignored the voluntary nature of the Union and States’ Rights…I could continue on, but I’ll submit to you that rather than anotehr Lincoln, we need another Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or Grover Cleveland.

        We had such a man in this election other than Johnson…his name was Ron Paul. Our Party either ignored, ridiculed, or bullied he and his supporters at every conceivable turn. While he filled stadiums full of thousands of enthusiastic young people, the Party insiders were busy pushing Romney and his supporting case of point men to distract the “tea party” sellouts between the likes of Santorum, Cain and Bachmann and divide the Constitutional vote.

        • TJ Hasamen Reply

          October 22, 2012 at 2:17 pm

          That’s an interesting, albeit fictitious, take on Abraham Lincoln. I’m curious to read this history book of your from this alternate timeline.

          • Brad Linzy

            October 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm

            None of what I said here was fictitious. Lincoln DID institute a draft. He DID initiate the Civil War when he could have let the South form their own country. He did it to keep the revenue flowing from the South’s cash crops. There is plenty of evidence that shows this.

            It is a fact he instituted the Greenback, a fiat money system, to pay for the ballooning cost of the War.

            It is also a fact that by many estimates more Americans died in the Civil War than all other wars before or since combined.

            Maybe it’s YOU and the entire cadre of elitist, revisionist historians that got Lincoln wrong. From my reading of history, that man was a tyrant. He could have freed the slaves, if that was the goal, by buying them out of slavery and helping with a smooth transition to mechanization, something England and every other European country with a history of slavery had already done. The South would have eventually ended slavery anyway with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and farm mechanization. The free world could have seen to that with a boycott of their products.

            There are other ways besides the killing of 750,000 Americans including innocent women and children to become a “hero”.

          • Brad Linzy

            October 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm

            If you want to read more about this “alternative” history of Lincoln, check out this link: http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/the-politically-incorrect-guide-to-the-real-abraham-lincoln/blog-260861/

            Also read the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War”. Here is a review: http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/shadesofgray.html

            Also, consider your own local history. While campaigning in Southern Illinois for his State Rep. seat, Abe Lincoln attended fundraisers with and stayed in the house of the slave trader and breeder John Crenshaw. It is speculated he didn’t know there were slaves in the attic, but I don’t buy it.

        • Sonny Reply

          October 25, 2012 at 6:39 am

          If Abe were to appear in this world and see what it is like today, he’d run back to his grave….

          • MainStreeter

            October 25, 2012 at 7:45 am

            If Abe were to appear today he would be “did you catch that SOB or not”

    • Marc Reply

      October 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Um, the election in 2008 proved you wrong on the asshole part!

    • MainStreeter Reply

      October 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      More people know who Gary Collins is than Gary Johnson (and Gary Collins is dead)

  10. Ralph Green Reply

    October 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I think this is a good article and more reflects where things stand. However, I do point out 1994 when there were a lot of angry people with a passion to vote. This president has angered many white male voters as well as Christian voters with his continued disrespect with racial rhetoric as well as attack on Christians. The white middle class has been sandwiched in the last 4 years not seeing any benefit from stimulus packages yet smart enough to see 16 trillion in debt, Gold standard doubled and our medical crushed. We are paying double at the pumps and in the grocery store yet middle class income went down 5 to 10 percent. The blue dog democrat that voted for Obama in 2008 has seen an attack on industrial jobs with EPA regulations and the Green push. I think this is going to influence the polls as much as 2 percent in Romney’s favor. It still comes down to Ohio. If things coast out for the next three weeks Romney will win. Although I do caution about voter fraud and that the poll booths need closely monitored in Ohio as well as other swing states. This could swing it in Obama’s favor if voter fraud is ignored

  11. Jay Reply

    October 31, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    As a lifelong Ohio resident, I will tell you there is NO WAY Obama doesn’t win this state by at least 5%.

  12. MainStreeter Reply

    November 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    At least Obama admits YouTube exists. If we could only get Romney to do the same thing on Climate Change that would be a start.

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