What You Need To Know About Exit Polling
What Karl Rove had to say about exit polls with Hugh Hewitt:
On tomorrow’s “reporting” of “early data”:
We should be on guard against dirty data, and we should also be on guard against them attempting to, deliberately or not, to affect the outcome of the House races nationwide, because look, it’s a big country. This thing is going to come down to literally the final seats on the West Coast, and voters, particularly in California, need to know that their vote is going to matter, and that they need to go out and vote, and we need to discourage the national networks from doing what they did in 2000, and that is depressing turnout in the West by prematurely calling the election in the East.
Much more from the interview HERE.
Here are a few things to remember on election day from GOP.com about those election polls you will be seeing today:
In 2002 and 2004, most exit polls in close races bore no relationship whatsoever to the actual result. I have seen too many “surprising” exit poll results showing a Republican 5, 6, 7 points down only to see that candidate win on Election Night. In ’04, even the 5 PM exits (when the exit polls are embargoed until this year) predicted a 3 point Kerry win in the popular vote. Bush won by 3. In 2002, the exit polls showed Elizabeth Dole losing in North Carolina. She won by 9. I could go on and on, but here is the document…
FAST FACTS ON EXIT POLLING
Election Experts Believe Exit Polls Give An Edge And Sway Towards Democrat Candidates.
** Early Exit Polling Returns In 2004 Were Widely Inaccurate, Declaring Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) To Be The Next President Of The United States And Republicans Barely Holding A One Seat Majority In The U.S. Senate.
In The 2002 Midterm Elections, Exit Polling Produced Unusable Data.
In 2000, Exit Polling Malfunctioned And Incorrectly Projecting Vice President Al Gore As The Winner Of The Crucial Battleground State Of Florida.
EXIT POLLS TRADITIONALLY HAVE A DEMOCRAT BIAS
“[Mitofsky] Said That For Reasons That Remain Unclear, Democratic Voters Are More Likely Than Republicans To Agree To Interview Requests From Pollsters.” (John Cook, “Early Exit Polls Overstated Kerry Results, Media Group Says,” Chicago Tribune, 1/20/05)
IN 2004, EXIT POLLING PREDICTED OVERWHELMING DEMOCRAT VICTORIES
In 2004, Exit Polls “Got All Of The Bush States Wrong” – Predictions Were “Most Skewed” Since Exit Polling Began:
Exit Polls Showed Across-The-Board Failure. “[T]he networks did get the exit polls wrong. Not just one of them. They got all of the Bush states wrong.” (Dick Morris, “Those Faulty Exit Polls Were Sabotage,” The Hill, 11/4/04)
In 2004, National Election Pool (NEP) Incorrectly Projected Victories For Sen. John Kerry (D-MA):
“ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox, And NBC … Created The National Election Pool To Provide Tabulated Vote Counts And Exit Poll Surveys … These Six Major News Organization, In A Joint Decision … Appointed Edison Media Research And Mitofsky International As The Sole Provider Of Exit Polls…” (Exit-Poll.net Website, http://www.exit-poll.net/, Accessed 10/24/06)
“In The 32 States With Exit Poll Estimates For Both A Presidential Race And A Senate Race The Average Error On The Difference Between The Top Two Candidates Was 5.0 Points In The Democratic Direction For President And 3.6 Points In The Democratic Direction For Senate.” (Edison Media Research And Mitofsky International, “Evaluation Of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 For The National Election Pool,” 1/19/05, p. 20)
Iowa: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 1% – President Bush Carried Iowa By .7%;
Nevada: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 1.4% – President Bush Carried Nevada By 2.6%;
New Mexico: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 4.2%– President Bush Carried New Mexico By .8%;
Ohio: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 6.5% – President Bush Carried By 2.1%;
Virginia: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 0.5% – President Bush Carried Virginia By 8.2%. (Edison Media Research And Mitofsky International, “Evaluation Of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 For The National Election Pool,” 1/19/05, p. 21-22)
Minnesota: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 14.3% — Sen. Kerry Won By 3.5%;
New Hampshire: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 15% — Sen. Kerry Won By 1.4%;
North Carolina: NEP Projected President Bush Winning By 3.6% — President Bush Won By 12.4%;
Pennsylvania: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 13.8% — Sen. Kerry Won By 2.3%;
Wisconsin: NEP Projected Sen. Kerry Winning By 5.7% — Sen. Kerry Won By .4%. (Edison Media Research And Mitofsky International, “Evaluation Of Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 For The National Election Pool,” 1/19/05, p. 21-22)
NEP’s Exit Poll Projections Had Republicans Winning Only 51 Senate Seats Instead Of 55 Seats They Hold Now!
EXIT POLLS WERE ALSO WIDELY INACCURATE IN 2002 AND 2000 ELECTIONS
FLASHBACK FACT: In 2002 Midterms, Exit Polls Were Scrapped Due To Inaccuracy:
Zogby International’s John Zogby: “The early  exit-poll data was awful. … And it came with the caveat that it was unreliable. Can you imagine a doctor saying that about a diagnosis? What a mess!” (Beth Gillin, “Media Organizations Discuss What Went Wrong With Exit-Poll Service,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 11/7/02)
FLASHBACK FACT: In 2000 Presidential Campaign, Exit Polls Were Badly Flawed In Critical State Of Florida:
In 2000, Exit Polls Were Badly Flawed In Critical State Of Florida. “[S]ome bad assumptions led Voter News Service, the television network exit poll consortium, to make and then retract two dramatic election-night predictions on the winner of the presidential race in Florida.” (Richard Morin and Claudia Deane, “Why The Fla. Exit Polls Were Wrong,” The Washington Post, 11/8/00)
In other words… GO VOTE!