In the weeks following Mitt Romney's defeat to President Obama, there's been no shortage of reports suggesting that the former Republican nominee's campaign was caught off guard by the election results. The surprise among the Romney team has been attributed to internal polling data that gave the GOP ticket a false sense of confidence. Now, details of those internal numbers are finally beginning to trickle out.
Noam Scheiber of the New Republic reports today on a handful of internal polls conducted on behalf of the Romney camp on the Saturday and Sunday before the election in six battlegrounds: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado and New Hampshire. While the two-day averages showed Obama with the lead in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, the data showed a tied race in Iowa and gave Romney the edge in Colorado and New Hampshire.
From Scheiber's report, which includes reactions from the Romney campaign's pollster Neil Newhouse:
The first thing you notice is that New Hampshire and Colorado are pretty far off the mark. In New Hampshire, the final internal polling average has Romney up 3.5 points, whereas he lost by 5.6. In Colorado, the final internal polling average has Romney up 2.5 points; he lost by 5.4. “I’m not sure what the answer is,” Newhouse told me, explaining that his polls were a lot more accurate in most of the other swing states. “The only ones we had that really seemed to be off were Colorado—a state that even Obama’s people tweeted they thought it was going to be one of their closest states—and the New Hampshire numbers, which seemed to bounce a lot during the campaign.”