Read this whiny, petulant post by Frank Newport, President of Gallup, and share my sense of derision. Really, it is an amazing amalgam of disingenuousness and wounded privilege -- and as Salon notes, a clear attack on Nate Silver for having the gall to slap down the biggest name in polling.
First, the disingenuousness: Newport tries to make the case that basically they got the election right, having done a final poll with Romney in the lead 50-49. In so doing, he ignores Gallup's polls very close to the date of the election that showed Romney with a 5 or 6 point lead, clearly a preposterous take on the race. One gets the sense that Gallup, after an alleged Sandy-induced hiatus, simply pushed its numbers towards a 50-50 race in the hopes of minimizing the damage to its reputation that being so far off would do. Newport also suggests that Obama is only going to win by 50-48, meaning they only missed the race by two points. However, as the final votes get counted, it is conceivable that Obama will prevail 51-47 (already it is 51-48) as his lead has grown to just under 3.5 million votes. In reality, Gallup missed the margin in the race by four or five points, not really all that impressive. Newport does not even bother to give an accurate percentage of the vote thus far nor does he let on that there are still hundreds of thousands of likely Obama votes still out there. (Obama was likely hurt by Sandy due to the depressed turnout in voter rich blue states like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut -- it looks to me like this may have shaved 1 million votes from his total.) Newport insists that the presidential campaign was truly a volatile affair and that Obama may have gained 5 points in the final week because of Sandy. This is poppycock (which is Dutch for "soft shit"). The defining characteristic of this race, at least as seen through the eyes of the aggregators, was its overall stability.
Speaking of aggregators, Newport then turns his wrath on them (read Nate Silver) for having the temerity to call out Gallup on its outlier likely voter model for the last few months of the campaign. One senses Newport's fury at these presumptuous upstarts attacking the grandaddy of them all. He threatens that if these aggregators keep doing that thing they do, that companies like Gallup may cease polling altogether. Really. So then what the fuck does Gallup do to pay Mr. Newport's no doubt considerable salary.
Here's the thing -- if Gallup ceases polling, others will happily step into the void. And it seems likely that they will do a better job.
So quit your bitching Frank and either get better or get out. You won't be missed.