I have always maintained turnout differential would be key in the results of the election. I even hedged halfway between 2008 and 2010 party ID turnout differential for predictions. Boy, was I wrong ... Maybe not. I can only make assumptions on turnout differentials and going halfway between was a reasonable assumption to make projections on, because everyone likes projections. I can't use the screens and differential the pollsters use, because each one differs a little in application of those screens. I do want to point out the polling organizations by and large did a great job gathering data and screening it properly, meaning fraudulent data didn't get through their screening processes.
My projections were off because of party ID turnout differential. I was off by three points in Ohio and Virginia, and five in Pennsylvania relating to turnout differential according to exit poll data. The turnout differentials I used only gave Mitt Romney a fighting chance for electoral victory. I didn't even want to try and mess with Florida's polling data as that may be a project for the near future. However, if we take the party ID turnout numbers from the exit poll, apply them to the data computed data from the computational average I came up with the results are remarkably close to the real results. How close? Take a look at the computed numbers from polls extrapolated on top of the exit polls numbers.
Virginia D+7 Weight Romney Obama Rep 32 29.92 1.92 Dem 39 1.76 36.56 Ind 29 16.31 10.73 47.99 49.21 Ohio D+7 Weight Romney Obama Rep 31 28.06 2.48 Dem 38 3.29 34.07 Ind 31 15.14 12.09 46.49 48.64 Pennsylvania D+10 Weight Romney Obama Rep 35 30.10 3.97 Dem 45 6.15 38.25 Ind 20 9.27 8.93 45.52 51.15
If you are a Republican you can take one thing away from this election, you need better national appeal and reach into urban areas. This means you have to cross party lines if you are going to stay relevant. You are going to have to engage immigration along Libertarian lines. You are going to have to engage the marriage issue along Libertarian lines. It also means you are going to have to decentralize power in national elections and disburse money into urban get out the vote campaigns and engagements. It is time for you to embrace a younger breed.
For Democrats, yes you won the presidency, the Senate, and a couple of House seats back, but you should also be engaging of rural America and its needs. You have done a better job than the Republicans and it shows. Does this mean you get everything you wish for? No, it means you are going to have to fend off a rapidly changing Republican party in the next 4 years.