Fordham University took all the pre-election numbers and compared them with the actual results. The winner: Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling. "For all the derision directed towards pre-election polling, the final poll estimates were not far off from the actual nationwide vote shares," said Costas Panagopoulos, director of Fordham's Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy. Here's the top 10 (by the way, Gallup, which gets the lion's share of media coverage, wound up tied for 24th).
1. PPP (D)*
1. Daily Kos/SEIU/PPP*
5. Purple Strategies
*Update: Costas has adjusted his rankings. Ipsos/Reuters is now in the top spot.
Speaking of projections, it's worth bringing up the guesstimates by partisan-influenced pundits that turned out to be crazy wrong. From Mediaite:
--Peggy Noonan: The day before the election, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan wrote on her WSJ blog that Romney will win. Her proof? Basically... it just feels like it. She also told Fox's Megyn Kelly Tuesday afternoon that she believes, despite the media narrative of Obama likely to win, "America is cooking something up," and that something is a Romney win.
--Michael Barone: "Bottom line: Romney 315, Obama 223. That sounds high for Romney. But he could drop Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and still win the election. Fundamentals."
--George Will: During an interview on ABC's This Week, George Will made the bold prediction of a 321-217 Electoral College landslide, including a Romney victory in nearly every swing state... including Minnesota.
--Dick Morris: Likely the world's most perpetually incorrect cable news pundit, Dick Morris continued his streak by predicting a "dominant" Romney victory with 325 electoral votes. His rationale: the media polls oversampled Democrats. So they're all wrong. At least he's willing to admit he was wrong. Just this morning, Morris released a video explaining that "I goofed!" and the media polls were correct in the end.