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Why You Can't Trust Exit Polls

From Jim Geraghty at Campaign Spot:

I noticed this account of an exit pollster in Stafford, Virginia:
08:32 - AP doing exit polling in Stafford. Talking 4 to 1 to minorities over whites at a Republican precinct (Falmouth). Expect it to be skewed. Don't trust the exit polls as they start to trickle out.

Only an anecdote, but not promising. Are the exit pollsters aiming for egg on their faces two presidential races in a row?


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Comments (12)

After 2004 exit polling deb... (Below threshold)
Good Captain:

After 2004 exit polling debacle, I foolishly attributed that to error. If this happens yet again, I think the reasonable assumption must be that this mispolling is intentional.

Who cares about exit polls?... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Who cares about exit polls? Sample rates aside do you really think they are an accurate predictor of the final outcome? Were they there when the polls opened this morning to sample votes of people who were there prior to going in to work or during the day, when people are normally at work? There are to many variables in play to even begin to take those polls as a serious indicator of voting trends.

The bottom line is those polls are so inaccurate that they are only used to skew public opinion, nothing else.

I'm sorry that is ridiculou... (Below threshold)
Sue:

I'm sorry that is ridiculous. My sister lives in Stafford. It is considered "redneck country" because it is probably 95% white. My sister is one of few non-whites. There is no way they will get accurate data by polling minorities 4 to 1.

What makes you think they'r... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

What makes you think they're looking for accurate data?

The story is already written, they're just looking for the proper sound bites.

Polls are what they are. J... (Below threshold)
RA:

Polls are what they are. Just go out and vote for who you think makes the most sense. There is no need to "trust" polls, let alone let them determine how you vote.

They just want to sow the s... (Below threshold)
Bush'sdog:

They just want to sow the seeds of doubt when McCain wins. It will be "look at the exit polls.." all over again.

When you can't win fair...

Yeah McCain is totally gonn... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah McCain is totally gonna win you guyz!!!

You should totally bet the farm on it.

Hyperbolist:Yea... (Below threshold)
RA:

Hyperbolist:

Yeah McCain is totally gonna win you guyz!!!

Alright man, I know you're excited and all, but maybe it would be a good idea to let the political process play out before you make assumptions about who has won. Nobody has won anythin at this point. Sure, the polls seem to be indicative of an Obama win (or they have), but polls are not reality. People are out there voting and we will see the results soon enough.

I was replying to Bush'sdog... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I was replying to Bush'sdog who said something about what will happen "when Mccain wins". I think he meant "if".

You're right, of course. Best not to open the champagne until the fat lady has sung.

Exit polls in 2004 showed K... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Exit polls in 2004 showed Kerry trouncing GW. We know how well that went. Hyper, isn't there a canadian government official you can bother? You remind me of Cliff Claven on Cheers. ww

Willie, you remind me of an... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Willie, you remind me of an old man covering his ears and going "Lalalalala" when every single piece of information around him is contrary to that which he most dearly hopes to be the case. Hope you've stocked up on Wild Turkey, it's going to be a tough 8 years for you.

"You should totally bet ... (Below threshold)

"You should totally bet the farm on it."

May as well. There won't be a farm for anyone to bet with in 4-8 years anyway, thanks to our new Dear Leader.




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