Virginia Exit Polls: Polls and Projection Models in Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania
I have always maintained turnout differential would be key in the results of the election. I even hedged halfway between 2008 and 2010 party ID turnout differential for predictions. Boy, was I wrong ... Maybe not. I can only make assumptions on turnout differentials and going halfway between was a reasonable assumption to make projections on, because everyone likes projections. I can't use the screens and differential the pollsters use, because each one differs a little in application of those screens. I do want to point out the polling organizations by and large did a great job gathering data and screening it properly, meaning fraudulent data didn't get through their screening processes.
My projections were off because of party ID turnout differential. I was off by three points in Ohio and Virginia, and five in Pennsylvania relating to turnout differential according to exit poll data. The turnout differentials I used only gave Mitt Romney a fighting chance for electoral victory. I didn't even want to try and mess with Florida's polling data as that may be a project for the near future. However, if we take the party ID turnout numbers from the exit poll, apply them to the data computed data from the computational average I came up with the results are remarkably close to the real results. How close? Take a look at the computed numbers from polls extrapolated on top of the exit polls numbers.
Virginia D+7 Weight Romney Obama Rep 32 29.92 1.92 Dem 39 1.76 36.56 Ind 29 16.31 10.73 47.99 49.21 Ohio D+7 Weight Romney Obama Rep 31 28.06 2.48 Dem 38 3.29 34.07 Ind 31 15.14 12.09 46.49 48.64 Pennsylvania D+10 Weight Romney Obama Rep 35 30.10 3.97 Dem 45 6.15 38.25 Ind 20 9.27 8.93 45.52 51.15
For Democrats, yes you won the presidency, the Senate, and a couple of House seats back, but you should also be engaging of rural America and its needs. You have done a better job than the Republicans and it shows. Does this mean you get everything you wish for? No, it means you are going to have to fend off a rapidly changing Republican party in the next 4 years.