Two national polling companies with local offices were ranked at the bottom of the list in an accuracy analysis by Fordham University.
Costas Panagopoulos, director of Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy, ranked 28 organizations based on their pre-election polling. Gallup, which has an office at 502 Carnegie Center, was ranked number 26 in Fordham ranking, and the AP-GFK poll was ranked last. GFK has an office at 1060 State Road.
Gallup’s final pre-election poll on November 5 had President Barack Obama trailing Mitt Romney by a point among likely voters 49 percent to 48 percent. The previous week, Gallup had Obama trailing Romney by 5 points among likely voters.
The AP-GFK final poll, conducted less than two weeks before the election, found that among likely voters 47 percent backed Romney and 45 percent backed Obama.
The actual vote was 50.5 percent for the president and 48 percent for Romney.
In a November 10 posting, New York Times blogger Nate Silver, a statistician who accurately predicted the presidential election results, ranked Gallup dead last out of 23 firms that issued at least five surveys in the final three weeks of the campaign.
“In late October, Gallup consistently showed Romney ahead by about six percentage points among likely voters, far different from the average of other surveys,” wrote Silver. “Gallup’s final poll of the election… was slightly better, but still identified the wrong winner in the election.”
“Gallup has now had three poor elections in a row,” says Silver. “In 2008, their polls overestimated Mr. Obama’s performance, while in 2010, they overestimated how well Republicans would do in the race for the United States House.”
Calls for comment to both Gallup and GFK were not returned by the time U.S. 1 went to press.
Gallup, 502 Carnegie Center, Suite 300, Princeton 08540; 609-924-9600; fax, 609-279-2541. www.gallup.com.
GFK Custom Research North America, 1060 State Road, Princeton 08540; 609-683-6100; fax, 609-683-6211. www.gfkamerica.com.