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Which Polls for the Presidential Election Were the Most Accurate?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

On the Money

Researchers at Fordham University have found that FOX News contributor Scott Rasmussen was the most accurate pollster over the course of the presidential campaign.

The analysis of 23 polling organizations also revealed Rasmussen — along with the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism study from October 29 — were the only ones to perfectly predict Tuesday's outcome in their final polls. Both correctly forecasted a 52 to 46 percent win for Mr. Obama, but just two weeks ago Pew had Obama up by 14 points.

The FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll meanwhile forecasted Tuesday's margin of victory to within one point, but was off a bit on the percentage totals.

The least accurate were the CBS/New York Times Poll along with Newsweek, which has a long history of over-polling in favor of Democrats. Those polls gave Mr. Obama an 11 and 12 point margin of victory respectively. That was double the actual margin.

Fair and Balanced

Friday we told you a study by the Pew Research Center shows FOX News was far more balanced than MSNBC in its election coverage.

The study indicates this network treated both John McCain and President-elect Obama in much the same way, and in fact, FOX was equally as negative on McCain as it was on Mr. Obama.

What we did not tell you is Pew mischaracterized its own study saying, "On the FOX News Channel, the coverage of the presidential candidates is something of a mirror image of that seen on MSNBC."

But Pew's own graph shows nothing of the sort, and indicates MSNBC's coverage of McCain was overwhelmingly negative, while the negative to positive story count on this channel was almost identical for both candidates.

The release also said, "On FOX News... coverage of Obama was more negative than the norm," but the norm — according to Pew's own study — is a pronounced pro-Obama bias.

Not Easy Being Green

Anti-global warming ballot measures faired poorly Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reports four out of five major environmental initiatives were voted down. The Journal says the defeats suggest environmental initiatives need to be realistic.

Californians shot down two clean energy proposals. Proposition 7 was supposed to boost renewable energy, but many argued it would have stunted some forms of clean-energy such as solar power. Proposition 10 provided billions to jump-start natural gas vehicles in the state, but that was viewed as a sop to the fossil fuel industry.

Even in San Francisco an ambitious green proposal was defeated. Some considered the mandate to be 100 percent renewable by 2040 too severe. Another initiative failed in Colorado.

The only major green-friendly measure to pass was in Missouri because it mandated what The Journal's Keith Johnson called "slow but steady yearly increases" in renewable energy.

Cold Shoulder

A well-known botanist and author says the British Broadcasting Corporation is shunning him because he does not believe global warming is man-made.

The Daily Express newspaper reports David Bellamy was once one of the best-known faces on British television, but he says, "According to official data, in every year since 1998 world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased... since I said I didn't believe that human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV program."

He continued, "I was sending in ideas for TV shows and they weren't getting taken up... the idiot fringe have accused me of being like a Holocaust denier."

FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume