Networks, AP cancel exit polls in 19 states
Posted by Jon Cohen and Scott Clement on October 4, 2012 at 11:15 am

Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year’s election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning.

Dan Merkle, director of elections for ABC News, and a member of the consortium that runs the exit poll, confirmed the shift Wednesday. The aim, he said, “is to still deliver a quality product in the most important states,” in the face of mounting survey costs.

The decision by the National Election Pool — a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press — is sure to cause some pain to election watchers across the country. (For a full list of the states that won’t have exit polls scroll to the bottom of this post.)

Read more.



2 Comments to ““US democracy” and “our free press” at work! Networks, AP cancel exit polls in 19 states”

  • Why did the Networks Cancel Exit Polls in 19 States?

    http://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/why-did-the-networks-cancel-exit-polls-in-19-states/

    The decision to eliminate 2012 election exit polls in 19 states by the National Election Pool is a blow to Election Integrity. Unadjusted state exit poll data have been a major component in calculating exit poll discrepancies.

    Of course, we don’t get to see the unadjusted exit poll numbers until months or years after the election. But having the data for just 31 states means that it will no longer possible to compare the total weighted average of the state polls to the official recorded share.

    The full set was required in the 1988-2008 unadjusted state-exit-polls statistical reference to show that in the six presidential elections, the Democrats won the average unadjusted state and national exit polls by a 52-42% margin. Their recorded margin was just 48-46%.

    These states will be excluded: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

    Although not battleground states, they are still required to calculate the total weighted average National Vote Share. In fact, the unadjusted exit polls in these states showed that Obama did much better than the recorded vote indicated.

    The pollsters will continue to provide the National Exit Poll, a subset of the state polls which includes just 20% of the state respondents. But as it is standard operating procedure, the poll will be forced to match the recorded vote. It’s a moot point, since we are not going to see the unadjusted, pristine poll numbers until long after the election, if then.

    The Director of Elections for ABC News, a member of the consortium that runs the exit poll, said the aim “is to still deliver a quality product in the most important states,” in the face of mounting survey costs, partially due to the continued rise in the number of cell phones which increases the cost of phone surveys.

    He says that “the decision by the National Election Pool — a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press — is sure to cause some pain to election watchers across the country.” He’s right about that.

    But how much is transparency in our elections worth?

  • “… mounting survey costs….”

    Yeah, right–this election cycle has brought in more advertising income than ever before–the amounts being spent by all campaigns on radio and tv ads is simply staggering (in New Mexico, for example, the two candidates for an open U.S. Senate seat spent (or had spent on their behalf) nearly $2 million between them on media advertising in just the month of August–it wasn’t so long ago that one could run an entire year-long campaign on that amount of money). Yes, a good part of that is going to local network affiliates, but, they could be sharing some of the wealth by subsidizing local exit polling.

    This election cycle has been an economic boom time for electronic media, and yet, exit polling is just too expensive?

    Horseshit.

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