While looking over the post-election news coverage, I found two contradictory articles regarding the outcome of the Presidential election-from the same news source.
The night before the election, CBS news posted an article declaring that based off of polling results, the election was sure to be close, "a presidential race teetering on a knife's edge." Citing polls by CNN/Opinion Research, USA Today/Gallup, and the final survey from WMUR/University of New Hampshire, CBS news all but promised an election with extremely close results.
However, CBS News' outcome article the very next morning told a different story. The article began, "In the end, it wasn't close. Barack Obama won re-election handily over Mitt Romney with 303 electoral votes, well more than the 270 electoral votes needed."
These conflicting articles, from the same news source, each released with 24 hours of the other, is is a good example of how it is necessary to exercise caution when examining poll and survey research. Even when we think we have been thorough in our samples and have cross-checked with other news sources' findings, it is important to remember that polls and surveys are only a general estimate of public opinion and very well may not reflect the true outcome(s).