A key source for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. responds to criticism of his analysis of the 2004 election
By Steven F. Freeman
Jun. 12, 2006 | Because Robert F Kennedy Jr. based much of the discussion in his Rolling Stone article on interviews with me and on a close reading of my new book, coauthored with Joel Bleifuss, “Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count,” and because Kennedy cites in his thorough footnotes many of the same key sources we worked from, I feel compelled to address directly several statements that Farhad Manjoo makes about the exit polls, both in his original Salon article and in his response to Kennedy’s response to that article — statements that are either incorrect or based on misunderstandings about exit polls and the 2004 results.
We regret that Manjoo did not request an advance copy of our book before writing his article. Had he done so, I’m confident that many of the basic errors he made could have been avoided.
Are exit polls usually accurate?
Yes, they are. On Nov. 2, 2004, Manjoo’s source Mark Blumenthal, the Mystery Pollster, had this to say: “I have always been a fan of exit polls. Despite the occasional controversies, exit polls remain among the most sophisticated and reliable political surveys available.” Properly done exit polls are highly accurate. Given the large sample size in U.S. exit polls, they ought to be accurate within 1 to 2 percentage points of the official count.