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The Overlooked Exit Poll Question

Topics: Exit Polls

New Pollster.com readers may not know it, but in the months following the 2004 election I devoted 68 posts and tens of thousands of words to the 2004 exit poll controversy. In about a dozen days, most of us will start thinking about exit polls again (although it looks like we may not have leaked exit polls to obsess about on Election Day this year). For tonight, however, I want to pass along one intriguing new finding buried in the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll that sheds a little light on one particular aspect of the 2004 controversy.

Nearly everyone now agrees that the final, just-before-poll-closing exit poll results gathered by the news media consortium known as the National Election Pool (NEP) in 2004 showed a small but statistically significant discrepancy with the official results. The national sample showed Kerry ahead 51% to 48%, but Bush won the national popular vote by a 2.5% margin (50.7% for Bush and 48.3% for Kerry). On average, the statewide exit polls showed a similar overstatement.

A few days after the election, the late Warren Mitofsky, director of the 2004 exit polls, appeared on the Lehrer News Hour and offered a theory: "We suspect that the main reason was that the Kerry voters were more anxious to participate in our exit polls than the Bush voters." Three months later, the report issued by Mitofsky and his partner Joe Lenski again argued that the discrepancy occurred because "Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters." They also offered "hypothetical completion rates of 56% among Kerry voters and 50% among Bush voters" that would have accounted for the entire discrepancy.

Mitofsky's assertion was dismissed by conspiracy theorists that mocked it as "hollow" and "preposterous" and scathingly labeled it the "reluctant Bush responder" hypothesis. They insisted (despite plausible arguments to the contrary) that no evidence existed to support the idea of Democrats responding more readily to exit pollsters than Republicans.

Well, this week, the Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll asked a question that demonstrates Democrats' greater enthusiasm for exit polls:

Every election, the television networks conduct exit polls of people as they leave their polling places on Election Day. If you were asked to participate, how likely is it you would be willing to spend 10 minutes filling out a questionnaire? Scale: Very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, not likely at all.

More Democrats (72%) than Republicans (66%) said they were likely to fill out an exit poll questionnaire. The gap was far bigger -- and highly statistically significant -- among those who felt strongly (typically a better predictor of actual behavior):  44% of Democrats said they would be "very likely" to participate in an exit poll compared to only 35% of Republicans.

The next question asked respondents whether they think "Democrats or Republicans would be more likely to share how they voted with someone they don't know who is taking a poll." While most voters (59% overall) were either unsure or saw no difference, those with an opinion were more likely to identify Democrats (28%) as more likely to participate than Republicans (13%). Moreover, both Democratic and Republican voters identified Democrats as the group more willing to participate in exit polls.

We'll come back to exit polls in about a week.  Meanwhile, those who want to consider these issues in more detail may want to review a series of posts I did earlier this year (Part I, Part II and especially Part III) in response to a Rolling Stone article by Robert Kennedy, Jr., as well as my exit poll FAQ.

 

Comments
RickD:

Isn't a bit late for this kind of study to have any validity? We're two years beyond a point where the legitimacy of the Republican victory was predicated on this "reluctant Bush supporter" hypothesis. So now that it's been widely covered, now that this explanation has been widely disseminated, it cannot be considered any surprise that Republicans are responding to a poll question in a way that corresponds to this explanation.

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Gary Kilbride:

I saw it earlier today. In 2006, this shoudn't be headlines. How is it possible this is the first time that question has been asked, after the '04 experience? If polling companies weren't asking it, the exit pollsters should have been paying them to ask it. Frequently. Including an accompanying question; "What would make you more willing to participate in an exit poll?" Or less willing. Anything to understand the dynamic, and how/why it varies due to partisanship.

That's a topic I've posted on many sites, a bewilderment that exit pollsters are seemingly willing to wait two years, stab at a few subjective alterations based on the most recent flaws, then beg for the best. I have no idea why it can't be studied relentlessly between cycles. I've seen the study regarding the response rate with different colored pens, or whatever that was, but there should be dozens like it. Maybe it's because I have a background in adjustments, a golf handicap since age 14 and dealing with sports results for two decades, but it's incredible we're still verifying uneven response rates and amazed by them, instead of ongoing trial and error aimed at a solution. Perhaps that has been going on, just not publicized.

Regarding the theory from the first comment, gad, now that's familiar from other sites. Conspiracy and manipulation without boundaries. Let's see, 66% of Republicans said they would be very likely or somewhat likely to fill out the exit poll questionnaire. How the hell did they know that percentage would place them below Democrats? What, was this like college football overtime, where you watch the other team's result and know what you have to do?

If we're going that route, why wouldn't Democrats, aware of '04, say no in unusual percentage, to completely reject the comparative reluctant Bush responder theory, and provide runaway headlines from certain posters on other sites? Not to mention a few come-lately authors I could name.

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Roger Morris:

Concerning your poll as to weather dems are more likely to spend 10 minutes taking a poll I believe is true. Think about this for a poll... How many compared to the repulicans have to get to a job... I think you would find dems have more time because they don't have to go to work. Curious if there are more Republicans or Dems on welfare????????

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Mark Lindeman:

I think RickD is partly right that this question is likely to play out differently in late 2006 than it would have in late 2004 -- although I don't know how much so. Really, anyone who thinks that "the legitimacy of the Republican victory was predicated on this 'reluctant Bush supporter' hypothesis" is living his or her life differently than the vast majority of American voters, no?

Still, it makes sense that some Democrats are newly convinced that participating in exit polls is important -- and that Republicans may be picking up on this theme. Or Roger Morris could point us to the right explanation: many Republicans assume that Democrats tend to be on welfare, with time on their hands. (Ick.)

At the very least, this result makes me wonder how anyone could ever assume again that an exit poll is likely to be an unbiased random sample.

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Mo Geraghty:

The Fox Poll is intersting, but I am curious how they take a poll of people who don't want to be polled. It seems to me the voters who choose not to participate in an exit poll are also more likely to skip any poll.

It was clear that Bush voters were undersampled in the 2004 exit polls. The enthusiastic Kerry voter is one conjecture, but I offer another: Scared voters were more likely to vote for Bush and less likely to talk to pollsters.

Just like cell phone only voters are highly correlated with age, this group of frightened and invisible voters are a problem for pollsters.

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Hugh:

Perhaps this can account for the Reps polling problems right now, particularly the generic polls. Maybe Reps are underpolling by 5 or 6%. I for one believe this is happening.

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Elizabeth Liddle:

Well, there is certainly a confound here, given the publicity given to the 2004 exit poll discrepancy, and the claims by some Dems that it was due to fraud, and the counter-claim that it was due to what those Dems like to call "reluctant Bush responders". So those with a vested interested in the validity of 2004 have an incentive to confess to "reluctance", whereas for those with a vested interest in calling the validity of 2004 into question have a rather more complex set of incentives. The canny thing would be to express reluctance (and thereby indicate that "reluctance" is not an exclusively Republican phenomenon). But I have recently read at least two posts in cyberspace urging participation by Dems in exit polls ("exit polls are your friend").

So a post hoc survey really doesn't tell us much, although it is interesting.

My rather dreary prediction from this poll is that we may see even greater discrepancies between exit polls and count in November than in 2004, especially in independent polls. But it won't tell us that there was fraud in 2006, any more than the Fox poll tells us that there was participation bias in 2004 (though other things do).

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Rick Brady:

"So a post hoc survey really doesn't tell us much, although it is interesting." Hey Lizzie! Long time no write to.

I wonder how the results to the political identification question (second to last) compared to 2004. Without looking at the data from 2004, I'd be willing to bet that the proportion of "independents" was lower a week before the 2004 election than it is now and the proportion of "republicans" was higher than it is now. I could probably look it up, but my wife and kids are on my case so I must be quick....

If the data supports my supposition, I suggest that the "interesting" results from this poll are made possible because respondents who ID themselves as Republicans in the current political environment represent the more die-hard base when compared to those who ID'd themselves as Republicans in 2004. Throw in the responses from the independents or even those who previously identified themselves as Republicans but now ID themselves as Democrats and I suggest that the "interesting" results vanish. (i.e., the stronger the party ID question leans GOP, the weaker the relationship between Party and reluctance to participate in exit polls...)

Does Fox Opinion Dynamics weights by Party ID? Just curious.

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Linda in California:

My Stepbrother in South Carolina, saw the exit poll takers, they told him they would talk to him after he voted. He came out and said:"okay I am ready now" they said he wasn't what they were looking for.

BTW he is (white guy)Retired Marine Major. They walked off and started talking to an African American.

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Elizabeth Liddle:

Linda: if he wasn't the Nth voter, he wouldn't have been "what they were looking for". All they should have been looking for was the Nth voter. If they implied they would definitely talk to him afterwards, they were wrong, but if they merely implied that afterwards would be the right time to talk to him, they were right. But if he wasn't the Nth voter to emerge, they shouldn't have talked to him, and if the African American was the Nth voter, they were right to have selected him instead.

But your story does illustrate the difficulties of getting a random sample, and not a "volunteer" sample, and why we cannot assume randomness when computing the probability that the sample is an accurate reflection of the precinct.

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Shane:

Roger Morris (comment above) is, pardon my language, a dumbass.

His theory is that Republicans are less likely to answer the exit poll questions because they have to get to work, and democrats are on welfare so they have extra time after voting.

This is so absurd that it turns my stomach.

1. The more money you make, generally, the more flexibility you have with your job. A democrat earning $15/hr on a factory floor better be there on time. A republican making $150,000/yr as a sales rep or executive won't be bothered if he comes into the office 10 minutes late.

2. His assertion is predicated on his assumption that TEN PERCENT of democrats are on welfare. This is so asinine. Typical republican nonsense.

Yes, most people on welfare probably identify with the Democratic party than the GOP. But the idea that this somehow accounts for the blue**** Reluctant Responder myth is a joke.

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This will disprove rBr in 4 different ways.
I thought this myth was gone forever.
Let's put it to rest.

1) In 2004, 3.6mm votes were cast but not counted.

http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/06/06/con06219.html

From Greg Palast:

But the shoplifting of those votes in Ohio was just the tip of the theft-berg. November 2, 2004 was a national ballot-box bonfire. In total, over three million votes (3,600,380 to be exact) were cast -- marked, punched, pulled -- YET NEVER COUNTED. I'm not talking about the Ukraine or Uganda. I'm talking about the United States of America "with liberty and justice for all."

Well, not "all." The nine-to-one Black-to-White ballot spoilage rate is a national statistic -- not just an Ohio trick. Last year, I flew to New Mexico to investigate the 33,981 cast but not counted ballots of that state in the 2004 race. George Bush "won" New Mexico by 5,988 votes. Or did he? I calculated that, of all the ballots rejected and "spoiled," 89% were cast by voters of color. Who won New Mexico? Kerry won -- or he would have, if they had counted the ballots.

But they didn't count them. And that was deliberate. It's in the plan. It's the program. And the program for 2008 is simple. Two million ballots were cast but not counted in the 2000 race. (Over half, 54%, were cast by African-Americans.) In 2004, the GOP kicked it up to THREE million. Get ready, these guys aim high: "four in '06" and "five in '08" looks to be their game plan.

2) According to the Final National Exit Poll, Bush 2000 voters comprised 43% of the 2004 electorate, while Gore voters were 37%.

This would seem to fly in the face of rBr. But the naysayers have another problem.

Simple arithmetic shows that 43% of the recorded 122.3mm 2004 vote is 52.59mm. But Bush only got 50.45mm votes in 2000. Approximately 1.77 mm (3.5%) of them died prior to the 2004 election.

So at MAXIMUM (100% turnout), only 48.69mm Bush 2000 voters could have returned to vote in 2004 ( 39.8%). Bottom line, the Bush vote was inflated by over 4mm votes.

3)Statistics for Business and Economics
Heinz Kohler
Second Edition

Chapter 2: Surveys and Experiments.

"Faulty questionnaire design, can, finally, be responsible for NONRESPONSE BIAS, a systematic tendency for selected elementary units with particular characteristics not to contribute data in a survey while other such units, with other characteristics, do. In the presence of this problem, even a census based on a perfect frame, or perfectly selected random sample, will fail. They will yield faulty conclusions because the data actually collected will in fact constitute a convenience sample (for example, of the MOST STRONGLY OPINIONATED PEOPLE among all the people that were supposed to be in the survey). Questionnaire features that contribute to non-response bias include a physically unattractive design; hard-to-read-print; questions that are boring, unclear, or long and involved; an excessive number of questions; bad sequencing of questions (so that respondents are forced to jump back and forth from topic to topic), and, in the case of multiple-choice questions, the specification of answers that are not mutually exclusive or are excessively restricted to particular points of view, while omitting other possible views.

Experience shows that HIGH-INCOME people and LOW-INCOME people (unlike MIDDLE-INCOME PEOPLE) tend NOT to respond to surveys; it is easy to see how the exclusion of either group is apt to bias survey results".


Strongly-opinionated people. Like the Republicans who rioted and terminated the Dade County Recount in 2000?

Assuming a differential response based on income, Kerry did better than the exit polls suggested.

Look at the income demographic of the National Exit poll. Low-income voters(under $50,000) comprise 46% of the voting mix; high-income (over $100,000) comprise 18%. Also note that Kerry voters are the vast majority
(57%) of the low-income group, while Bush voters comprise 54% of the high income group.

Applying bias increments (1,2,3%) for low and high income non-responders, Kerry's vote share increases from 51.39% to 51.67% (340,000 votes), while the Bush total is reduced by the same number. So Kerry's winning margin increases by 680,000 votes.
___________________________________________________

53.28% Responders
No Bias
INCOME

Low Mix Bush Kerry Other
0-15K 9% 34% 65% 1%
15-30 15% 38% 60% 1%
30-50 22% 46% 53% 1%
Total 46% 18.88% 26.51% 0.46%

Middle
50-75 23% 53% 46% 1%
75-100 13% 51% 48% 0%
Total 36% 18.82% 16.82% 0.23%

High
100-150 11% 53% 45% 2%
150-200 4% 53% 47% 0%
200+ 3% 58% 41% 1%
Total 18% 9.69% 8.06% 0.03%

Grand 100% 47.39% 51.39% 0.72%
Total 121.8 57.9 62.8 1.1
(mm votes)

46.72% Non-Responders
Bias
INCOME

Bias Low Mix Bush Kerry Other
3% 0-15K 12% 34% 65% 1%
2% 15-30 17% 38% 60% 1%
1% 30-50 23% 46% 53% 1%
Total 52% 21.12% 30.19% 0.52%

Middle
0% 50-75 20% 53% 46% 1%
0% 75-100 4% 51% 48% 0%
Total 24% 12.64% 11.12% 0.20%

High
1% 100-150 12% 53% 45% 2%
2% 150-200 6% 53% 47% 0%
3% 200+ 6% 58% 41% 1%
Total 24% 13.02% 10.68% 0.30%

Grand 100% 46.78% 51.99% 1.02%
Total 121.8 57.3 63.3 1.2
(mm votes)

Total Non-responders + Responders
Bush Kerry Other
Respon 53.28% 47.39% 51.39% 0.72%
Nonresp 46.72% 46.78% 51.99% 1.02%

Grand 100% 47.11% 51.67% 0.86%
Total 121.8 57.6 63.1 1.1
(mm votes)
_______________________________________________________


4) As state exit poll completion rates decline, Kerry's poll and vote shares both increase.
This confirms the above: non-responders were mostly Kerry voters and low-income Kerry non-responders outnumbered high-income Bush non-responders.

This graph is proof:
http://www.geocities.com/electionmodel/StateVotevsExitPollCompletionRate1_27680_image001.png

Since there was a BUSH BIAS in the state exit polls, Kerry must have done significantly better than his exit poll vote share.

As exit poll completion rates decline across states, the discrepancy between Kerry's exit poll and the recorded vote widens. This is further confirmation of (1), (2), and (3). Non-responders were mostly Kerry voters. Ballots were spoiled or stolen in the big states Kerry won easily (PA, NY, MA, NJ, CT, CA) as well as those he barely lost (FL, Ohio, NM, NV, CO, IA).

Since there was a BUSH BIAS in the state exit polls, Kerry must have done significantly better than his 50.51% poll numbers.

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Elizabeth Liddle:

I certainly would repudiate the view that Democrats might be more enthusiastic about responding to exit pollsters than Republicans because they are more likely to be on welfare. But the view that the "Reluctant Responder myth" is a myth is also wrong. There is plenty of evidence, from multiple sources, that Democrats are tend to be represented in exit polls than Republicans, although we can only guess at the reasons why this might be the case (my own hunch is that people who tend to regard their own business as their own are more likely both to vote for conservative politics and to want to keep their vote to themselves). But we don't have to know why it is the case, we simply need to know whether it is the case, and the evidence strongly suggests that it is.

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Mark Lindeman:

Umm, in response to TIA, once more with feeling?

1) Palast's numbers -- at least the ones in print -- don't total 3.6 million. ("3,600,380 to be exact"? Riiiiiight. Palast knows better, I think.) It will be nice if he ever gets around to providing his numbers. Supposing that the figure were 3.6 million, would it "disprove rBr"? What, are we supposed to sit around trying to guess what the argument is here? Life is too short.

2) You already know the answer to this: you are assuming that people report their past votes accurately, despite lots of evidence to the contrary. C'mon, guy, stop wasting our time.

3) Are you familiar with the phrase "for example"? Do you actually think you demonstrated that Bush voters were more "opinionated" on average, assuming that that even matters? Did you even try to figure out whether the income bias that Kohler vaguely ascribes to "surveys" in general actually applied to the 2004 exit poll? Finally, since when is it your position that the exit polls suffer from non-response bias? Shouldn't you put on your turn blinkers or something before you execute this maneuver?

4) Ecological fallacy, been there, done that. The reported completion rate was 38.6% in Indiana, 66.7% in Tennessee. If anyone thinks those numbers demonstrate anything about Bush voter and Kerry voter completion rates, s/he just has to keep thinking until it passes.

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Marc Lesperance:

Not to repeat others assertions but this new Fox polling data prior to a midterm election in 2006, where most conscious Republicans are clinically depressed if not catatonic cannot be used to support the purported actions of an energized Republican base at the time of the November 2004 GENERAL ELECTIONS. Despite all of your attempts at debunking the 2004 exit poll discrepancies, all that is left is an unrealistic rBr theory. So what do we have but a theory to debunk the facts of the exit poll results. Give it a break, research the polling data and other demographic data of the electorate (i.e. the number of young adults who voted and how they voted, as well as the evangelical vote), then consult the statistical experts on this subject (might I suggest the National Election Data Archive) and give us some real information on what happened in 2004 and how to avoid it next week! Please!

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Marc Lesperance:

Not to repeat others assertions but this new Fox polling data prior to a midterm election in 2006, where most conscious Republicans are clinically depressed if not catatonic cannot be used to support the purported actions of an energized Republican base at the time of the November 2004 GENERAL ELECTIONS. Despite all of your attempts at debunking the 2004 exit poll discrepancies, all that is left is an unrealistic rBr theory. So what do we have but a theory to debunk the facts of the exit poll results. Give it a break, research the polling data and other demographic data of the electorate (i.e. the number of young adults who voted and how they voted, as well as the evangelical vote), then consult the statistical experts on this subject (might I suggest the National Election Data Archive) and give us some real information on what happened in 2004 and how to avoid it next week! Please!

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Elizabeth Liddle:

Marc Lesperance:

Well, first of all I agree with your view that this poll cannot tell us much about what happened in the 2004 exit poll, although it is of interest.

But secondly, you do not support your claim that the "rBr" theory is "unrealistic", except possiblynot a great m that you ask us to "research the polling data" (actually I have, fairly thoroughly) and the electorate (ditto) and consult the "statistical experts on the subject" (yes,there have been some authoritative paper, notably one authored, inter alia, by a president of the American Statistical Association). And you suggest the "National Election Data Archive" as a resource for statistical expertise. Well, speaking as one whose work is included on the NEDA website, I am in no position to generalise as to whether data analysts whose work is posted there are "statistical experts" or not, but I will certainly opine that some of the papers hosted authored by NEDA on the subject of exit polls are extremely flawed. I would also say that of the authors of NEDA papers none (including myself) are "polling experts" (although I certainly know a lot more about polling than I did) and few are "statisticians" (although there are many who claim statistical expertise, including myself). There are also some mathematicians (again, not the same thing).

So FWIW, I'll tell you what I think happened in 2004. From data other than the polling data, I think that there was an inequitable distribution of voting machines in Franklin County that may have been malicious, but was IMO certainly negligent, and resulted in a net loss of Kerry votes. I think that voting machine problems also probably cost Kerry New Mexico. I did think initially that the data might have suggested that electronic fraud on optical scanners might have been responsible for the apparently high Bush vote in counties with large numbers of registered Democrats in Florida, but now think this was probably a statistical artefact, that certainly doesn't rule out fraud in Florida, but does not support it either.

As for the exit polls, from the analyses I did for Warren Mitofsky, I concluded that there was strong evidence to support the hypothesis that an underlying tendency for Kerry voters to be more willing to participate in the poll than Bush voters was translated into actual bias in precincts where the methodology was most likely to make strict non-random sampling difficult. In other words, while "non-response bias" might have played a part, the bias is more likely to have operated at the level of voter selection. I therefore think that exit pollsters (independent or otherwise) who can ensure strict Nth voter protocols are more likely to get a sample that reflects the true proportion of voters for each candidate, but that sampling bias is a hazard that we must always take into account when trying to interpret exit polls.

Finally, I found that there was absolutely no correlation between precinct level exit poll discrepancy and advantage to Bush as measured by change in his vote-share relative to 2000. This makes it fairly unlikely that the overall exit poll discrepancy was due to fraud, and in fact contra-indicates fraud on a massive scale. Put simply: if Bush's increase in vote-share and the exit poll discrepancy shared the same cause, one would expect the two to positively correlated, and in fact the correlation was slightly, though insignificantly, negative.

So if you want to avoid what happened in 2004 from happening next week, I suggest that exit pollsters take extra care with their random sampling protocol, and that all voters keep an eagle eye open for fraudulent and unjust practice, including the push polls that Mark Blumenthal has posted about yesterday and today. And don't assume that fraud is so easy it won't be detectable. Detect it. NEDA has a good list of things to watch out for.

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tom veil:

Only a hypothesis -- but I personally doubt that the response gap indicates anything inherent in party affiliation. Rather, voters, of either party, are more eager to advertise themselves when voting for the challenger. The Incumbent Advantage has become conventional wisdom, and it's an old American stereotype that we root for the underdog. Combine those, and the person voting for the challenger is more likely to brag.

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Mark Lindeman:

Marc, I don't get it. Most political observers would consider that taken at face value, the 2004 U.S. exit poll discrepancies debunk themselves. Kerry won New Hampshire by 15 points? New York by 31? Maybe some "statisticians" believe that, but facially it doesn't make much sense.

My shame is that during the time that I worked with the US Count Votes crew, it took forever for me to realize that some of them might actually think the exit polls were right -- as opposed to obviously noisy as hell, but conceivably suspicious anyway. Things just got weirder from there.

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Marc B:

As a Republican voter, I can tell you my reason for lack of participation in polling. I have no faith in it. I would not be willing to participate in a phone poll or even an exit poll as the MSM uses it to drive stories based on their agenda. I think Republicans, who are generally anti MSM, see exit polling as a way of 'helping' the MSM push their particular angle. Given Republicans disdain for the MSM its not hard to believe that there would be many of them not willing to participate. Its as simple as that folks, you get bashed over the head with the MSM political view, it would only make sense to not want to help them collect data to sell their stories.

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Elizabeth Liddle:

That's really interesting, Marc, because of course, liberals would appear to feel exactly the same about the "MSM" or rather the "So-Called MSM".

So if both sides think the "MSM" is on the other side, why might Democrats be more inclined to participate than Republicans?

Here's my theory, to which I have no right, as I'm not even an American: media owners are regarded by the left as on the side of the right - the "corporate-owned media", while journalists are regarded by the right as on the side of the left - "pinko journalists". If interviewers are seen as quasi journalists, rather than representatives of the corporate media owners, then Dems may see an exit poll as a chance to get their views into the SCMSM, while Reps may see it as an opportunity to have their views misrepresented.

I dunno. But I do think it's curious that both sides do seem to think the MSM is on the other side. It would be nice to think that was because the MSM was actually rather balanced, but I expect the truth is as both sides see it: journalists are to the left of centre, and media owners to the right.

Whatever.

(I'm a UK Labour Party member, FWIW).

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Elizabeth Liddle:

That's really interesting, Marc, because of course, liberals would appear to feel exactly the same about the "MSM" or rather the "So-Called MSM".

So if both sides think the "MSM" is on the other side, why might Democrats be more inclined to participate than Republicans?

Here's my theory, to which I have no right, as I'm not even an American: media owners are regarded by the left as on the side of the right - the "corporate-owned media", while journalists are regarded by the right as on the side of the left - "pinko journalists". If interviewers are seen as quasi journalists, rather than representatives of the corporate media owners, then Dems may see an exit poll as a chance to get their views into the SCMSM, while Reps may see it as an opportunity to have their views misrepresented.

I dunno. But I do think it's curious that both sides do seem to think the MSM is on the other side. It would be nice to think that was because the MSM was actually rather balanced, but I expect the truth is as both sides see it: journalists are to the left of centre, and media owners to the right.

Whatever.

(I'm a UK Labour Party member, FWIW).

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