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Exit Poll Observations

Just a few points I have NOT heard about exit polls.. And goodness knows there are enough opinions out there. In random order...

1) I think exit polls are becoming increasingly unreliable in part because we are separating ourselves geographically as well as by party. It is easy to poll the urban areas but it gets increasingly more difficult to accurately poll the more rural areas. This can make a very red state look blue. If you poll in New Orleans proper, Kerry won (probably) 8 to 1. But Bush carried Louisiana by like 17 points. I doubt many exit pollsters were in Cut Off, Louisiana.

2) I think the Bush people were far less likely to tell people who they voted for. With all the condemnation of Bush by everyone in the media (Hollywood etc) and the violence against GOP offices and various supporters, is it any wonder Bush people kept to themselves and Kerry people had big mouths? Seems in keeping with the whole campaign to me.

3) The exit polls (assuming they did do that for which they were designed and that is to see how which groups voted) showed that 23% of the gay vote went to George Bush. I'm far from an expert on these matters but it seems to me that a whole bunch of gay people would be more than willing to say who they voted for but not as anxious to tell a stranger their sexual orientation. That being a safe assumption, it seems obvious Bush carried far more than 23% of the actual gay vote. (sorry Andrew)

Ok just things I had not heard elsewhere. I leave any dot connecting to someone with more time.


Comments (12)

Another side of the issue i... (Below threshold)
Greywolf:

Another side of the issue is that our elections are supposed to be by secret ballot (at least as I was taught growing up.) This means I have a right to keep my own counsel when voting. It also means that my answer to an Exit Pollster would likely be along the lines of "None of your business, wacko."

Actually, I believe the exi... (Below threshold)
meep:

Actually, I believe the exit polling is done with people filling out cards, not speaking to a person directly. I think it's more-or-less anonymous, in that it's not like you're talking out loud to a pollster near the polling place. And I doubt the pollster has time to read the cards as they come in, but hand them off to someone else to tally.

But then, I've never been exit-polled. I've only been telephone-polled (I always hang up on the robot calls, but will talk to people.)

I was having a similar disc... (Below threshold)

I was having a similar discussion with someone who told me that exit polls showed Starbucks customers more likely voting for Kerry while Walmart customers voted for Bush. People always tell pollsters what they think the pollster wants to hear and what they think will make them look better. Plus early in the morning, the soccer mom's are going to be out in full force - a decidedly pro-Kerry group.

I just think the whole exit... (Below threshold)
zach:

I just think the whole exit poll thing is getting outdated. Its a pretty shaky process to begin with, at least shaky in the sense that its not any sort of predictor of the outcome. The country is getting more polarized, and that plus the geographical seperation just makes it hard.

I have never seen an exit p... (Below threshold)

I have never seen an exit pollster where I vote, and I doubt there has ever been one in my entire county. This year, many, many people took advantage of the opportunity to vote before the pollsters were deployed. And many Bush voters would rather get back to work, etc. than hang around a polling place answering stupid questions. And that does not take into account the real possibility that the Kerry Campaign seeded the polling places with chatty quislings.

- Polling in general and ex... (Below threshold)

- Polling in general and exit polling in particular is one of those political enterprises that requires zero accuracy. We'll likely hang onto them. We love our election "toys" too much. The fun thing to do now is see if you can figure out which one of the more important voter blocks the Democrats, with the resourceful guidence of the liberal wing, will manage to alienate in 2002....

I always lie to pollsters. ... (Below threshold)
mojo:

I always lie to pollsters. They never offer to pay me.

My hippie daughter actually... (Below threshold)
DavidS:

My hippie daughter actually carried an anti Bush sign to her polling place, got in the booth and voted for Bush.

She said it hit her at the last minute that he was making every effort to keep us safe.

She was not alone. I bet many poser hippies did the same thing.

Don't blame me I voted stra... (Below threshold)

Don't blame me I voted straight Wacko ticket.

I covered the urban=liberal... (Below threshold)
Omni:

I covered the urban=liberal aspect of polling problems a few days ago

http://omniverse.blogspot.com/2004_10_31_omniverse_archive.html#109956894653517607

but the 2nd point is one few have mentioned, and the 3rd point is, as far as I've read, totally unique. :-)

Maybe, as to most of the po... (Below threshold)

Maybe, as to most of the post. As to the last point--that some homosexuals would be reluctant to admit it to a stranger, thus Bush probaby carried more than 23% of their vote--why would those who voted for Bush be less likely to admit their sexual habits than those who voted for Kerry?

If they'll admit to voting ... (Below threshold)

If they'll admit to voting for Kerry, they'll admit to anything.




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