The end of election season means that we have at least a year (468 different Congressional races are just around the corner!) before we're again inundated by an endless stream of polls, proclamation and other numerical electoral predications.
Taking advantage of this lull, master stastician Nate Silver has rated the most prominent polls cited during the 2012 election. Gallup, one of the most popular, appears to be the least accurate.
An excerpt of Silver's analysis:
Among the more prolific polling firms, the most accurate by this
measure was TIPP, which conducted a national tracking poll for
Investors’ Business Daily. Relative to other national polls, their
results seemed to be Democratic-leaning at the time they were published.
However, it turned out that most polling firms underestimated Mr.
Obama’s performance, so those that had what had seemed to be
Democratic-leaning results were often closest to the final outcome.
Conversely, polls that were Republican-leaning relative to the consensus did especially poorly.
Well at least the GOP exceled at something this election season: failing.