Which Polls were Most Accurate?
The list with a few highlights on my part. Rasmussen was second most accurate last cycle if I recall correctly. Either way the trend is pretty clear.
1T. Rasmussen (11/1-3)**
1T. Pew (10/29-11/1)**
3. YouGov/Polimetrix (10/18-11/1)
4. Harris Interactive (10/20-27)
5. GWU (Lake/Tarrance) (11/2-3)*
6T. Diageo/Hotline (10/31-11/2)*
6T. ARG (10/25-27)*
8T. CNN (10/30-11/1)
8T. Ipsos/McClatchy (10/30-11/1)
10. DailyKos.com (D)/Research 2000 (11/1-3)
11. AP/Yahoo/KN (10/17-27)
12. Democracy Corps (D) (10/30-11/2)
13. FOX (11/1-2)
14. Economist/YouGov (10/25-27)
15. IBD/TIPP (11/1-3)
16. NBC/WSJ (11/1-2)
17. ABC/Post (10/30-11/2)
18. Marist College (11/3)
19. CBS (10/31-11/2)
20. Gallup (10/31-11/2)
21. Reuters/ C-SPAN/ Zogby (10/31-11/3)
22. CBS/Times (10/25-29)
23. Newsweek (10/22-23)
The problem of course is that the same folks coming dead last are those broadcasting the debates, and the attempting to form the consensus about who won right afterwards via their talking heads and their polls. Polls at the bottom of that list were off by 100%. They literally doubled the winning margin predicting double digit wins when it wasn't even close to that. They clearly are using their polls to push the news/propaganda instead of reporting. You see a debate, then watch the network go to their "snap poll" which is of course 100% wrong and then watch them spend the next several days repeating their wrong conclusions. It doesn't affect everyone but it does crowd out the real news and it does make it harder for the candidates to discuss issues instead of being hit with "What is your campaign doing wrong to be down 13 points in the polls?"
I watched McCain several times on the Sunday Talk Shows do nothing more than spend the entire segment having to explain how his internal polling didn't show 13 point blow out leads. In the future the candidate should have the gumption to tell the reporter that they blew it last election and unless they care to discuss issues instead of their misreporting, then the interview is done.