By the time the dust finally settled on Tuesday night, President Barack Obama carried Pennsylvania by 5 percentage points over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. So, just how correct were Pennsylvania’s army of pollsters in predicting the final electoral outcome?
To find out, let’s play the political nerd’s favorite game show: The Polls Are Right. The first pollster to hit the actual electoral result – without going over – wins.
In Allentown, the final Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll had Obama beating Romney 49 percent to 46 percent in a canvass released on the Monday before Election Day. The poll of 430 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. Result? -2
The Philadelphia Inquirer, which employed Democratic and Republican firms to conduct their polls, had Obama beating Romney 49 percent to 43 percent. Released Oct. 23, it surveyed 547 likely voters with margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Result? +1
The Franklin & Marshall College poll, run by the veteran pollster and pundit G. Terry Madonna, had Obama leading Romney 48 percent to 44 percent with 4 percent undecided. The Oct. 31 canvass included 547 likely voters at a margin of error of plus or minus 4.2 percent. Result? -1
Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Conn., also gave Obama a 4 percentage point edge in its final survey conducted on Oct. 16. Obama led Romney 50 percent to 46 percent in the canvass of 1,519 likely voters. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percent. Result? -1
The final survey by Democrat-friendly Public Policy Polling out of Raleigh, N.C., had Obama leading 52 percent to 46 percent on Nov 3. – three days before the polls opened. The survey of 790 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. Result? +1
And on the right, GOP-friendly Susquehanna Polling & Research of Harrisburg locked at 47 percent apiece in a Nov. 3 survey of 800 likely voters. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46 percent. Result? -5
And the winner is...a tie between F&M and Quinnipiac! And we'll give it to our own poll too, which was right on the money in its second to last poll released Oct. 22, showing Obama up 5.
Congratulations to all three, you've lived to poll another day!Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times