On the exit polls in Mexico

FromKenneth Anderson:

Hi Mark,

A follow-up with the latest from Mexico:

As has already been discussed here, the ChoicePoint elections in Mexico have exhibited some interesting similarities with those of Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004. Add now to the reported long lines, shortage of ballots, and all manner of “bungling,” which seemed to more affect constituencies supportive of the lefitst Obrador, are reports that exit polls are divergent from the vote count, complete with charges that some 3 million ballots are missing.

One of Obrador’s campaign workers, Luis Mandoke, must have been feeling like all those Kerry workers in 2004 when he said, “It was unbelievable. We were wondering, ‘What happened to our lead?'”

Indeed, what did happen? Well, on Saturday, this was my prediction:

“I can safely make a prediction without knowing anything of the candidates’ campaigns: Calderón by 2-3%, a result that is within the ‘margin of error.'”

Today, the two main corporate television networks, Televisa and TV Azteca, reported that their “exit polls showed the gap between the two candidates was within
the margin of error.”

Which is really implying that the exit polls are not useful; please, people, pay no attention. However, this is not entirely comforting considering that the magazine Proceso, citing police sources, reported that “senior Interior Ministry officials had persuaded the networks to keep their exit polls off the air.”

Remember the television network shenanigans with the [US] exit polls in 2004? It is entirely possible-indeed, it seems quite likely that the exit polls would be a source of discomfort for officials involved.

Apparently, Mexican government officials and the networks learned [something] from the US exit poll fiasco and were determined to not expose themselves to such embarrassment.

I’m now waiting for the day when exit polling is declared illegal. Exit polls are now simply a source of aggravation for the Establishment-run elections-the Establishment growing ever less less disposed to honoring the will of the general population.

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