Was IBD/TIPP The Most Accurate in 2012? Nope

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For days Donald Trump has been banging this gong about being ahead in the IBD/TIPP poll which he says was the most accurate poll in 2012. They’re now claiming it was also the most accurate in 2008 and 2004. This has been driving me a bit nuts since this is unquestionably false. I decided to check my memory. So I went back to look the latest polls in 2012. Here’s what I found.

As you can see, this isn’t remotely true.

Election day 2012 was Tuesday November 6th. I’ve taken polls from PollTracker which were taken entirely in the five pre-election days of November. I’ve listed them by their last polling date in the field and then ordered them by how close they got to Obama’s final margin of 3.9 percentage points.

As you can see, IBD/TIPP was about the middle of the pack when judged against the actual final result. GQR, Rand, ABC/WaPo, Reuters/Ipsos and PPP were all closer than IBD/TIPP. And they were only slightly more accurate than the remaining pollsters on the list.

What IBD may be claiming is that they were closest since they got closest to Obama’s absolute number: 50.3 compared to 51.1. But that’s not really a measure of anything since they got that be squeezing the undecided number down to close to zero.

The upshot is that this IBD/TIPP as most accurate pollster is demonstrably false, no matter how you want to slice it. That’s not to say they are a bad pollster. They were basically in the pack with everyone else in 2012. But what Trumpers are saying is demonstrably false.

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