The polls, and the forecasters using them, performed pretty well. Harry Enten posted for the Guardian this morning about the overall success of pollsters in the 2012 cycle, and John Sides put up this great post/figure over at The Monkey Cage. (The figure was also picked up by Ezra Klein.)
I wanted to see the estimated error margins around the final pollster predictions. So here’s my take with 95 percent confidence bands:
The figure shows the difference in the predicted and actual Obama margin. Positive numbers mean that the pollster overstated Mr. Obama’s margin of victory; the negative implies the inverse.
Almost all of the polls came within a reasonable distance from the outcome. In fact, most contained the true outcome in their margins of error.