“Unless America abandons the Electoral College, the national polls just aren’t meaningful, although we all love the horse race,” said Rogan Kersh, provost at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Silver had Obama losing North Carolina, which the president won four years ago, and winning the other eight swing states. Silver also predicted Romney’s win in Indiana, the only other state that Obama won in 2008 and lost in 2012.
The NBC/Journal/Marist College poll called seven of the nine swing states, missing North Carolina, where it had Obama in a state that he lost, and Colorado, which it called a tie. The CBS/Times/Quinnipiac University survey predicted four of the five swing states it polled in, missing only in Colorado when a mid-October poll had Romney up by one point. CNN successfully predicted the winner in Colorado, Ohio and Nevada, though it had Romney winning Florida.
Quinnipiac had Obama ahead in Pennsylvania, as did Rasmussen. Romney made an unsuccessful last-ditch effort to compete in the commonwealth, which hasn’t backed a Republican presidential nominee since 1988. A poll by the Morning Call of Allentown and Muhlenberg College also had Obama leading.
Other automated polls correctly predicted most of the swing state results. The Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling had Obama winning eight swing states and Pennsylvania, and tied in North Carolina. Another automated poll, SurveyUSA, had Obama winning Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, losing North Carolina and tied in Florida. Online poll YouGov didn’t poll in North Carolina, predicted a tie in Florida and had Obama ahead in the other seven states.