Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Pollsters Misunderestimate Hillary

We know how Hillary and Obama did -- but how did the polls do? Looking, as we always do, at the RCP averages here's what we've got:

First, to Texas, where on the eve of the election the RCP average said it would be a squeaker:
Clinton: 46.8%
Obama: 46.5%
It turned out to be close, but not that close, as Clinton pulled away by more than th 3% margin of error:
Clinton: 50.9%
Obama: 47.4%
In Ohio, RCP's summary of the big polls said Clinton would win pretty big:
Clinton: 49.3%
Obama: 42.9%
Actually, the polls called it closer than it actually turned out:
Clinton: 54%
Obama: 45%
Once again, Clinton outpaced the polls by 3%.

What's up? Two things, probably.

First, Independents broke more heavily for Clinton than expected. I've always seen Independents as a negative-thinking bunch, and it's likely that as Hillary started going more negative, i.e., talking frankly about Obama's weaknesses, they listened.

Second, the polls probably misread the number of Hillary-hating Republicans who crossed over to vote for her, in order to keep the campaign running.

So Mr. O. lost the Big Mo, the folks who were being dispatched to tell Hillary to quit are checking to see if their tickets are refundable, and the Donkey's back to biting his tail for a couple more months.

Mission accomplished.

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