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November 02, 2004

Exit Polls

Election results are starting to trickle in! Slate is helpfully leaking exit poll data (which it's not supposed to do).

People are talking about the exit poll "debacle" in Florida in 2000, where the state was first given to Gore, then back to a tossup, then eventually to Bush. This was seen as a failure of exit polling and everyone is vowing to do better this time.

I don't understand this. The exit polls from Florida initially claimed that more people in Florida intended to vote for Gore than Bush. This was correct; more people in Florida did intend to vote for Gore than Bush. But due to the butterfly ballots, they didn't actually vote that way. So the exit polls were doing their job correctly; it was only after the data wonks noticed that the reported results were not tracking the exit polls correctly (which they did impressively quickly, I think) that they had to put the state back in play.

Posted by AdamBa at November 2, 2004 04:34 PM

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