Polls never lie, eh?
Seems they can make you see things that aren't there, as the Romney team did big time:
They made three key miscalculations, in part because this race bucked historical trends:
1. They misread turnout. They expected it to be between 2004 and 2008 levels, with a plus-2 or plus-3 Democratic electorate, instead of plus-7 as it was in 2008. Their assumptions were wrong on both sides: The president's base turned out and Romney's did not. More African-Americans voted in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida than in 2008. And fewer Republicans did: Romney got just over 2 million fewer votes than John McCain.
2. Independents. State polls showed Romney winning big among independents. Historically, any candidate polling that well among independents wins. But as it
turned out, many of those independents were former Republicans who now self-identify as independents. The state polls weren't oversampling Democrats and undersampling Republicans - there just weren't as many Republicans this time because they were calling themselves independents.
3. Undecided voters. The perception is they always break for the challenger, since people know the incumbent and would have decided already if they were backing him. Romney was counting on that trend to continue. Instead, exit polls show Mr. Obama won among people who made up their minds on Election Day and in the few days before the election. So maybe Romney, after running for six years, was in the same position as the incumbent.
The campaign before the election had expressed confidence in its calculations, and insisted the Obama campaign, with its own confidence and a completely different analysis, was wrong. In the end, it the other way around.
The article says Romney really really really thought he was going to win and was shellshocked when Obama's firewalls held.