June 18, 2011
This is an analysis of the 2010 Pennsylvania senate race in which Toomey (Rep) defeated Sestak (Dem) by 80,000 recorded votes (51-49%). The True Vote analysis indicates that Sestak had at least a 51.5% vote share and 120,000 vote margin.
The Final PA 2010 Exit Poll indicated that 49% of the votes recorded in 2010 were cast by returning Obama voters and 45% by returning McCain voters, a 4 percent margin. But Obama won the PA True Vote by 58.7-39.9%, a 19% margin. Therefore it is logical to assume that there were many more returning Obama voters than indicated in the 2010 PA exit poll. If this is the case, then it is beyond a reasonable doubt that Sestak won the election.
Given Obama’s 58.7% True Vote and a) 61% returning Obama voter turnout, b) 69% McCain turnout, c) 2010 PA exit poll vote shares, Sestak won by 166,000 votes (52.1-47.9%.
The 2008 Presidential True Vote analysis indicates that Obama won nationally by 58-40% – a 22 million vote margin (only 9.5 million was recorded).Forcing the State and National Exit Polls to match the recorded vote is standard operating procedure. In order to force a match in 2004 and 2008, the exit pollsters had to assume an impossible number of returning Bush voters from the previous election. The returning voter mix should reflect the previous election True Vote, not the recorded vote.
As in the Wisconsin, PA exit poll, vote shares were not provided for returning third party (Other) voters and new (DNV) voters. However, the Final indicated that returning third-party 2008 voters and new voters each represented 3% (119,000) of the total 2010 vote. In order to match the vote, Toomey must have won these voters by 70-30%. This is a RED FLAG! Obama won third party voters by 66-20% over McCain. It strains credulity that Toomey had 70%. It is also impossible that returning third-party voters comprised 119,000 of the 2010 vote. There were only 81,000 third-party voters in 2008 and approximately 50,000 returned to vote in 2010. Therefore, the returning third-party mix was changed to 1.3%. The DNV increased from 3% to 4.8%.
Four sensitivity analysis tables display the Sestak vote share and margin for various scenarios: Obama 2008 voter turnout in 2010 (61-69%), shares of New voters (30-70%) and Obama PA shares, from the recorded 54.5% share to the estimated 58.5% True share. The Final Exit Poll is always forced to match the recorded vote by adjusting the returning voter mix and/or the vote shares. In 2004 adjusting the mix to favor Bush was not sufficient to match the recorded vote, so the exit pollsters had to increase his vote shares as well.