Yesterday, we collected the presidential race predictions of 27 of the best-known pollsters and pundits. That list included big names from both sides of the political divide, including academics, statisticians, consultants, reporters, and talking heads. Today is their reckoning.
We collected each forecaster's electoral college prediction and predicted winner. Some foresaw nail-biters, some landslides, and though a majority of those included went with President Obama, there were plenty who chose Mitt Romney as well.
In all, 17 of those selected correctly predicted President Obama would retain the presidency. For the reckoning purposes, we'll give Obama the state of Florida, though it has not been called for either candidate yet. (According to Real Clear Politics, the president has earned 49.9 percent of the state's vote, to Romney's 49.3 percent).
Thus, the final tally:
Obama: 332 electoral votes
Romney: 206 electoral votes
Three of the people included in our chart predicted that exact result. Surprisingly, all three are pollsters who use statistical modeling and poll averages to determine likely electoral outcomes.
-Nate Silver - FiveThirtyEight Blog
-Pollster (aka Simon Jackman) - Huffington Post
-Sam Wang - Princeton Election Consortium
Several others were close, and if Romney ends up winning Florida the winners' circle will grow considerably. Almost all of those who predicted Obama would win believed he'd do so by a smaller margin.
Of course, 10 of the names we included were wrong. Some of these -- former Bush advisers Ari Fleischer and Karl Rove, and political reporter David Weigel -- predicted modest Romney victories and therefore retain some dignity. But the majority of those who thought Romney would win believed in a resounding victory, with a cushion of 30 or more electoral votes. Here are the three prognosticators that got it the most wrong.
Kudlow, an economist and CNBC host, had the worst prediction by far. He estimated Romney would win 330 electoral votes to Obama's 208, almost the exact opposite of the actual result and off the mark by some 122 electoral votes. Conservative talk show host Beck and political consultant Morris were slightly less wrong, though both were off by 100 electoral votes or more.
Honorable mention for our worst political forecaster goes to Jim Cramer, another CNBC talking head. Cramer correctly predicted Obama would win, but said the final electoral vote count would be Obama, 440, Romney, 98. That's 128 electoral votes off of the final result, the largest electoral vote miss of our survey.
Here's the full table again:
|Name||Organization||Electoral College Prediction||Predicted Winner|
|Ari Fleischer||CNN||Romney: 271 - Obama: 267||Romney|
|Charlie Cook||Cook Political Report*||Obama: 271 - Romney: 267||Obama|
|Chris Cillizza||Washington Post||Obama: 277 - Romney: 261||Obama|
|David Weigel||Slate||Romney: 276 - Obama: 262||Romney|
|Dick Morris||Fox News||Romney: 325 - Obama 213||Romney|
|Ed Morrisey||Hot Air||Romney: 311 - Obama: 227||Romney|
|Ezra Klein||Washington Post||Obama: 290 - Romney: 248||Obama|
|George Will||Washington Post||Romney: 321 - Obama: 217||Romney|
|Glenn Beck||The Blaze||Romney: 321 - Obama: 217||Romney|
|James Pethokoukis||American Enterprise Institute||Romney: 301 - Obama: 227||Romney|
|Jim Cramer||CNBC||Obama: 440 - Romney: 98||Obama|
|Josh Barro||Forbes||Obama: 305 - Romney: 233||Obama|
|Juan Williams||Fox News||Obama: 298 - Romney 240||Obama|
|Karl Rove||American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS||Romney: 285 - Obama: 253||Romney|
|Lanny Davis||Lanny Davis and Associates LLC||Obama: 281 - Romney: 257||Obama|
|Larry Kudlow||CNBC||Romney: 330 - Obama: 208||Romney|
|Larry Sabato||UVA Center for Politics||Obama: 290 - Romney: 248||Obama|
|Matt Yglesias||Slate||Obama: 303 - Romney: 235||Obama|
|Michael Barone||Washington Examiner||Romney: 315 - Obama: 223||Romney|
|Nate Cohn||The New Republic/Electionate Blog||Obama: 303 - Romney: 235||Obama|
|Nate Silver||FiveThirtyEight Blog||Obama: 332 - Romney: 235||Obama|
|Pollster||Huffington Post*||Obama: 332 - Romney: 303||Obama|
|Polltracker||Talking Points Memo*||Obama: 303 - Romney: 235||Obama|
|Real Clear Politics||RealClearPolitics.com*||Obama: 303 - Romney: 235||Obama|
|Robert Reich||UC-Berkeley/Huffington Post||Obama: 285 - Romney: 253||Obama|
|Ross Douthat||New York Times||Obama: 271 - Romney: 267||Obama|
|Sam Wang||Princeton Election Consortium||Obama: 332 - Romney: 206||Obama|
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Seth Cline is a reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.