Exit Pollster Hell

Robert Waldmann

update: OK after getting burned in 200 and 2004 (to paraphrase our President:fool me once shame on you fool me uh fool … you can fool me twice) only a fool would believe in exit polls tonight (and note the obvious below). But I just can’t help myself.

Looks like the exit pollers are downplaying them everyone wants to tell me how the 71 votes counted in Georgia split. Pollster.com has average exit polls from the MSM financer/suppressors of exit polls.

Don’t start celebrating now, or, if you do, don’t blame me — blame pollster.com.

update 2: According to the exit polls which you should not trust it is McCain by one (1) in Mississippi. Oh my. For what it’s worth Obama is 9.5% above the Pollster trend from regular non exit polls. If I were Senator Wicker I would be worried, but I’m not so I don’t pay attention to exit polls.

notes the obvious.

This is going to be a longgggg day for exit pollsters. Given early voting, they are going to have to pool results from exit polls and earlier results from people who said they voted early in regular polls. This will not be possible without a wild guess.

They have data on how many people voted early and (bad) data on for whom they voted. The data from polls on early voters is based on a much smaller sample size than exit polls and is not based on a balanced sample of polling places, but it is still relatively OK compared to the number they just don’t have.

They will have information on total early votes and on the percentages of Tuesday votes by candidate, but they will just have to guess Tuesday turnout. I suppose they can ask at their sample polling places, but they will only have a number they can use after polls close (and they typically want to release exit polls the instant polls close).

Since it appears that a much larger fraction of early voters have voted for Obama than will Tuesday voters this will be critical. Assuming total turnout equal to 2004 turnout is a recipe for extreme embarrassment.

I’m sure they have some plan (I’m sure they all have different plans).

I’m not sure I’ll believe anything until actual votes are counted (tomorrow night looks like a longgg night over here at EST + 6 hours).