Wednesday, November 24, 2004

MIS-TRUTH: Exit Polls in America Are Wrong. No Proof Needed.

U.S. votergate media blackout
Faulty exit polls puzzle experts, feed conspiracy theories

By Julia Malone
Cox News Service
Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Excerpt 1:

...Joe Lenski, executive vice president of Edison Media Research and one of the directors of the exit polls, conceded that the surveys, which aimed at questioning every 10th voter leaving 1,480 precincts nationwide, had missed the mark.

"A superficial reading of the data would have indicated that Kerry had a slight lead," he said in a telephone interview. But he defended the survey's final result, calling it "well within the sampling error," which ranged between 2 and 5 percentage points..
O..K., we've heard this explanation many times before, however the fact that is ALWAYS left out is that the error OVERWHELMINGLY skews towards Kerry. Look at the graph illustration above -- these are 4 p.m. exit poll numbers. Joe Lenski does not address this important piece of evidence.

Excerpt 2:

...Exit surveys, by their nature, always vary somewhat from the actual vote count. In recent years, they have tended to over-estimate the support for Democratic presidential candidates...

Excerpt 3:

...The difference this year was that the Internet made it easier for the world to see the unadjusted numbers in an election that was already very close and in a survey that was, apparently, even more skewed toward Democrats...
This whole article assumes that the exit poll numbers are wrong. Why is this? What evidence does it have? None. The exit polls are guilty until proven innocent, in other words -- regardless of the widespread voting irregularities that have been documented (also absent from this article). Why is there no hypotheses about vote fraud, given these irregularities?
Excerpt 4:

..."There's also an issue of whether Democrats were more willing to talk than Bush voters," Frankovic said. She added that experience shows that older voters are generally less willing to participate in exit polls than younger people...
Oh, yeah? Where's the evidence? Why is the author of this piece not asking for numbers that prove this to be the case? Here's a rebut to this variation to the "chatty democrat" theory from Bob Burnett, a computer scientist and one of the executive founders of Cisco Systems:
"...On the PBS News Hour Mitofsky stated, “we suspect that the reason [Kerry was ahead in the exit polls] was that Kerry voters were more anxious to participate in our exit polls than the Bush voters.” Of course, this excuse doesn’t explain why the exit polls were inaccurate only in swing states.

And it ignores the fact that the exit polls are carefully constructed samples weighted by factors such as party affiliation and gender. In other words, it is not the case that pollsters grab the 20th voter coming out of the polls and mark down their vote preferences regardless of what party they belong to; polling protocol dictates that if they have too many Democrats, or women, they don’t take anymore in that particular category until the sample is balanced..."
Excerpt 5:

..."Polls are pretty blunt instruments," Frankovic said. "They are not as precise as I think some people would like to think."...
Try telling that to Collin Powel, who refuses to accept the Ukraine election results due largely to -- yes, you guessed it -- EXIT POLLS. The fact is, exit polls are very accurate. Notice how the article lumps "exit polling" with other "polling" with this quote. This distinction should not be confused. Polling someone after they have voted is much more accurate than polling someone (on the phone) a week before they vote.

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