Exit polls that don’t end

Exit polls that don’t end

: Just wondering…. Does the extended early voting in Florida and other states mean that networks’ pollsters now have to stake out the polls for days on end? What about states where mail voting is allowed — how do you perform exit polls? In a year when there are so many new voters without statistical history, what’s all this going to do to the projections on election night?

  • http://www.popularthinking.com Sean L. McCarthy

    I think it’ll prove that the media needs to rethink the way it uses and reports on polling. Hard to believe, but yes. In an odd moment on CNN today, Judy Woodruff asked Bill Schneider if she should worry about all of the poll discrepancies since they fall within the margin of error. This is Election Eve, mind you. Better late than never to figure out that the margin of error has made all of this horserace analysis moot. Perhaps that, combined with the misnomer of the “likely voter poll” and the failure to account for people who don’t answer polls because of cell phones and/or caller ID, will convince the TV talking heads to overhaul their punditry. Then again, haven’t we hoped for such a change after every election in the past 24 years?
    But then again, I am a Red Sox fan, so perhaps everything is different this year.

  • http://www.floridatoday.com Steven Ibanez

    It’s interesting that you bring up the exit polls. My executive editor and I had a long conversation about this Thursday and we grilled a Gannett News Service reporter about why they weren’t exit polling the early voters. Down here in Florida, it wasn’t only people who were eager to vote for their canidate or worried their vote wouldn’t count, it was people who didn’t want to wait in line (boy, were they mistaken) Tuesday. Here in Brevard County, we had nearly 25% of registered voters vote early in a county where 75-80% of registered voters actually vote. Seems to me like you could of came up with a well educated guess at the results by doing an exit poll, but, then again, there’s so many damn questions in this thing that you could be totally off. Only time will tell I guess.