Friday, November 19, 2004

Exit Polls Do Not Imply Fraud

The New Republic has an article debunking election fraud theories based on exit polls. Exit polls always favor the Democrats. This isn't fraud, it is bad polling.

Year

Exit Poll
Results

Exit Poll
Dem Lead

Election Actual
Dem Result

1988

Dukakis: 50.3%
Bush: 49.7%

+0.6%

-7.7%

1992

Clinton: 46%
Bush: 33.2%

+12.8%

+5.6%

1996

Clinton: 52.2%
Dole: 37.5%

+14.7%

+8.5%

2000

Gore: 48.5%
Bush: 46.2%

+2.3%

+0.5%

The fraud is using polling methods that have been wrong since 1988, and reporting the results as if you expected them to be actual fact.

Republicans voting either early morning, or on their way home from work, are to my mind less likely to fill out an exit poll. I know I wouldn't. (Or I might follow Mike Royko's advice, and lie.)

So you can believe that the whole exit polling apparatus is flawed,
Or, you can believe that a massive secret conspiracy somehow shifted roughly 2% of the vote from Kerry to Bush in every battleground state, a conspiracy that fooled everyone but the exit pollsters - and then only for a few hours - after which they deliberately suppressed evidence of the fraud and damaged their own reputations by blaming the discrepancies on weaknesses in their data.
[Hat tip to Right Side of the Rainbow]

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