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Election 2012 – Last Look at the Predictions

President Obama has been sworn into office for his second term. So, how did the predictors do? Here are some assessments:

  • Fact: Nate Silver Predicts Election Outcome, Becomes Nerdy Chuck Norris, Wired
  • Pollsters and Pundits: Who Got the Presidential Election Right and Who Didn’t: A Reckoning U.S. News
  • Keeping Track: Pundits and Pollsters and Their Presidential Predictions U.S. News
  • Among the top election quants, Nate Silver reigns supreme c/net

These look at the accuracy of the vote percentage.  But, I’m wondering which ones I should use in 2016 to get a sense of which states are “in play.” Looking at the results there were 15 states and Nebraska’s 2nd CD where the winner won by less than 10%, i.e. state-in play, before the election.  Electoral-votes.com came the closest to identifying these states.  The site identified all 15 states.  However, electoral-vote.com identified another 5 states as being in play.  Huffington Post identified 10 of the states.  NYT: FiveThirtyEight identified 7 of the states and Nebraksa’s 2nd CD.  Real Clear Politics identified all 15 states, but also identified 10 more.

Here is the “states in play” table from my Nov. 8th post, The Day After – Looking a the the Predicitions, with the official results1.

States in Play Likely* Lean Tossup Results**
Colorado O-538 Huff, RCR, ev Obama 51%/46% – Likely
Florida R-ev 538, Huff, RCR Obama 50%/49% – Tossup
Iowa O-538 O-Huff*, O-ev RCR Obama 52%/46% – Likely
New Hampshire O-538 O-ev Huff, RCR Obama 52%/47% – Likely
North Carolina R-538 Huff, RCR, ev Romney 51%/48% - Lean
Ohio O-538 O-Huff*, O-ev RCR Obama 50%/48% – Lean
Virginia O-538, O-ev Huff, RCR Obama 51%/47% – Lean
Pennsylvania O-Huff*, O-ev RCR Obama 52%/47% – Likely
Nevada O-Huff*, O-ev RCR Obama 53%/46% – Likely
Wisconsin O-Huff*, O-ev RCR Obama 53%/46% – Likely
Arizona R-ev R-RCR Romney 54%/45% – Likely
Georgia R-RCR, R-ev Romney 53%/46% – Likely
Michigan O-ev RCR Obama 54%/45% – Likely
Minnesota O-ev O-RCR Obama 53%/46% – Likely
Missouri R-RCR, R-ev Romney 54%/44% – Likely
Montana R-RCR, R-ev Romney 55%/42% – Solid
Nebraska CD2-2 (1) R-538, R-RCR Romney 51%/47% – Likely
New Mexico O-RCR, O-ev Obama 53%/43% – Solid
Oregon O-ev O-RCR Obama 55%/42% – Solid
South Carolina R-RCR, R-ev Romney 55%/44% – Solid
South Dakota R-RCR, R-ev Romney 58%/40% – Solid
Connecticut O-RCR Obama 58%/41% – Solid
Indiana R-RCR Romney 54%/44% – Solid
Maine O-RCR(3) O-RCR(1) Obama 56%/41% – Solid
New Jersey O-RCR Obama 58%/41% – Solid
  • States in play legend:
    • Letter before dash: O = Obama; R = Romney
    • Letters after dash: ev = electoral-vote.com; H = Huffington Post; 538 = NYT: FiveThirtyEight; RCR = Real Clear Politics
    • “Results” categories are defined: < 1% Tossup > 1% Leans > 4% Likely > 9% Solid

* NOTE: Huffington Post only classifies states in play as Leans or Toss-up.

1. Results from the Popular Vote Totals posted on the National Archives 2012 Presidential Election site, except Nebraska CD2-2 (1), which came from the Nebraska Secretary of State.