The national polls overstated Barack Obama’s popular vote margin. It was five percent, not eight or nine or more as some had it. All three broadcast network-sponsored polls were off, by a lot. Make of that what you will. But it was also true that the state polling showed very small margins in many battleground states, just as the state polling reflected and the McCain camp touted in the final days. The final RCP state poll averages were largely on the nose.
That doesn’t mean it was “close” — the margins were relatively small but in many, many states and Obama made good on his promise to “expand the map.” Sure, the McCain camp should have spent more time in Florida, Ohio and Virginia and less in Pennsylvania, but they still would have come up short since Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Nevada were lost by (un)healthy margins.
So once again the better polls were largely but not entirely right. Which is why they have margins of error. All in all, the pollsters performed better than the MSM as a whole. Damning with faint praise, I know.