All three major cable news networks (MSNBC, CNN, and FOX) used the RCP polling average to argue that the race was a dead heat, and that Romney had a legitimate path to 270 electoral votes. From looking at the numbers, RCP was attempting to drive a right-wing narrative that almost succeeded.
Below the squiggle, we'll see how grossly inaccurate RCP was this election cycle.
Although they actually got 49 of 50 states right, they dramatically underestimated Obama's margin of victory in virtually every state and in the national popular vote.
National: Obama 48.8, Romney 48.1 (O +0.7)
Reality: Obama 50.5, Romney 47.9 (O +2.6, and rising as California counts its ballots)
RCP's national numbers were skewed almost 2 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in FL: Romney 49.7, Obama 48.2 (R +1.5)
Reality: Obama 50.0, Romney 49.1 (O +0.9)
RCP missed the state by 2.4 points in Romney's favor and contributed to a lot of the MSM narrative about Obama's "slim chances" in the Sunshine State. OFA's GOTV team down there had other ideas.
RCP in VA: Obama 48.0, Romney 47.7 (O +0.3)
Reality: Obama 50.8, Romney 47.8 (O +3.0)
RCP missed Virginia by 2.7 points in Romney's favor and contributed to the narrative of a "Midwest firewall", when Virginia was a very solid part of the "firewall" too.
RCP in Colorado: Obama 48.8, Romney 47.3 (O +1.5)
Reality: Obama 51.2, Romney 46.5 (O +4.7)
RCP missed Colorado by 3.2 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in New Hampshire: Obama 49.9, Romney 47.9 (O +2.0)
Reality: Obama 52.2, Romney 46.4 (O +5.8)
RCP missed New Hampshire by 3.8 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Iowa: Obama 48.7, Romney 46.3 (O +2.4)
Reality: Obama 52.1, Romney 46.5 (O +5.6)
RCP missed Iowa by 3.6 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Nevada: Obama 50.2, Romney 47.4 (O +2.8)
Reality: Obama 52.3, Romney 45.7 (O +6.6)
RCP missed Nevada by 3.8 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Michigan: Obama 49.5, Romney 45.5 (O +4)
Reality: Obama 54.3, Romney 44.8 (O +9.5)
RCP missed Michigan by 5.5 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Pennsylvania: Obama 49.4, Romney 45.6 (O +3.8)
Reality: Obama 52.0, Romney 46.8 (O +5.2)
RCP missed Pennsylvania by 1.4 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Wisconsin: Obama 50.4, Romney 46.2 (O +4.2)
Reality: Obama 52.8, Romney 46.1 (O +6.7)
RCP missed Wisconsin by 2.5 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Minnesota: Obama 49.6, Romney 44.4 (O +5.2)
Reality: Obama 52.8, Romney 45.1 (O +7.7)
RCP missed Minnesota by 2.5 points in Romney's favor.
RCP in Oregon: Obama 47.7, Romney 41.7 (O +6)
Reality: Obama 54.5, Romney 42.7 (O +11.8)
RCP missed Oregon by 5.8 points in Romney's favor.
The only important states that RCP accurately called were North Carolina (with a 0.8 point Romney bias) and Ohio (with a 1 point Obama bias, but without provisionals, which will probably swell Obama's margin to the average).
Part of our pushback against the conservatives must include RCP because their polling averages included the right-wing pollsters that were wildly off (like Rasmussen, Gravis, etc). RCP needs to take a page from Nate and weight the Rasmussen polls less than the other, more accurate pollsters like PPP, SurveyUSA, NBC/WSJ, Quinnipiac, and CNN.