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View Diary: Gotcha! Gallup Commits "Polling Malpractice" Startling New Info/Controversy on Poll (348 comments)

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  •  They didn't work last time. (8+ / 0-)

    The exit polls didn't match the results.  See Ohio results.

    •  /begin tinfoil (8+ / 0-)

      Perhaps this is part of the master plan- condition people to believe that polling in general is all shitty-farty-smelly, then when there's a major discrepancy between the polls and the results, the heads on tv will shrug and say, "Gee who could have predicted this outcome?  Those silly pollsters just can't get it right."

      /end tinfoil

    •  Exit polls were right, vote counts were wrong. (15+ / 0-)

      Exit polls are correct all over the world and were correct in this country until Bush/Cheney/Rove came on the scene.
      The exit polls didn't match the reported vote counts in Bush's two presidential elections and  some key congressional races that had surprising outcomes.  
      Strange about that....

      •  exit poll mythology (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean

        Exit poll discrepancies in this country go back at least to the 80s. And there's not much reason to believe the 2004 results in detail -- double-digit leads in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania? Makes very little sense.

        •  Exit polls are consdiered a gold standard to (6+ / 0-)

          judge elections for fraud around the world.  

          They have not worked here with any reliability since 2000.  At this point it's pretty safe to say these elections, mostly counted by private corporations with no real controls or ability to recount, are being stolen on a massive scale.  Also, it's not just the machines, but a multi-pronged strategy to disenfranchise and discourage Democratic  voters by any way possible, legal and illegal.  

          You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

          by FightTheFuture on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:25:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  by whom? (0+ / 0-)

            I see this "gold standard" business a lot. I don't remember ever seeing it before the 2004 election.

            More than once I've linked to statements from the Carter Center saying things like, "Avoid exit polls." (Here is one -- see page 4.) They are inherently a flawed way of verifying election outcomes, because there is no way to know whether the various candidates' supporters will be equally willing to participate.

            The U.S. exits were almost as far off in 1992 as they were in 2004. They were much closer in 2000. So when you say that they "have not worked here with any reliability since 2000," I think you've been misinformed about the historical record.

            At this point it's pretty safe to say these elections, mostly counted by private corporations with no real controls or ability to recount, are being stolen on a massive scale.

            If evidence is no matter, absolutely.

            •  Avail yourself of some facts, for a change! (0+ / 0-)

              You keep saying electin polls are no good and you imply doubt of election fraud.  Such a fool, needing a 2X4 into the face, literally, before you acknowledge it.  Try to come into this century, Ok?!

              Why don't you avail yourself of the research done by oh.. say Professer MarkCrispin   Miller and his book and blog.  The evidence collected by Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, Brad Blog or Thom Hartmann or Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  

              Even 2000 was stolen.  They weren't as organized as now, but it's no secret that Gore actually won Florida.  However, the final strategies they employed (intimidation, public media, Supine courts) when their outright theft, so well documented by Bev Harris, did not seal the deal, denied him that.

              As for Exit Polls, properly designed, and the statistics are well understood today, they are extremely reliable, except here.  Robert F. Kennedy, who carries a lot more weight that a pissant like you, says this about them (I highlighted some really relevant portions to help you along, you appear too need it):

              I. The Exit Polls
              The first indication that something was gravely amiss on November 2nd, 2004, was the inexplicable discrepancies between exit polls and actual vote counts. Polls in thirty states weren't just off the mark -- they deviated to an extent that cannot be accounted for by their margin of error. In all but four states, the discrepancy favored President Bush.(16)

              Over the past decades, exit polling has evolved into an exact science. Indeed, among pollsters and statisticians, such surveys are thought to be the most reliable. Unlike pre-election polls, in which voters are asked to predict their own behavior at some point in the future, exit polls ask voters leaving the voting booth to report an action they just executed. The results are exquisitely accurate: Exit polls in Germany, for example, have never missed the mark by more than three-tenths of one percent.(17) ''Exit polls are almost never wrong,'' Dick Morris, a political consultant who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats, noted after the 2004 vote. Such surveys are ''so reliable,'' he added, ''that they are used as guides to the relative honesty of elections in Third World countries.''(18) In 2003, vote tampering revealed by exit polling in the Republic of Georgia forced Eduard Shevardnadze to step down.(19) And in November 2004, exit polling in the Ukraine -- paid for by the Bush administration -- exposed election fraud that denied Viktor Yushchenko the presidency.(20)

              But that same month, when exit polls revealed disturbing disparities in the U.S. election, the six media organizations that had commissioned the survey treated its very existence as an embarrassment. Instead of treating the discrepancies as a story meriting investigation, the networks scrubbed the offending results from their Web sites and substituted them with ''corrected'' numbers that had been weighted, retroactively, to match the official vote count. Rather than finding fault with the election results, the mainstream media preferred to dismiss the polls as flawed.(21)

              ''The people who ran the exit polling, and all those of us who were their clients, recognized that it was deeply flawed,'' says Tom Brokaw, who served as anchor for NBC News during the 2004 election. ''They were really screwed up -- the old models just don't work anymore. I would not go on the air with them again.''

              In fact, the exit poll created for the 2004 election was designed to be the most reliable voter survey in history. The six news organizations -- running the ideological gamut from CBS to Fox News -- retained Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International,(22) whose principal, Warren Mitofsky, pioneered the exit poll for CBS in 1967(23) and is widely credited with assuring the credibility of Mexico's elections in 1994.(24) For its nationwide poll, Edison/Mitofsky selected a random subsample of 12,219 voters(25) -- approximately six times larger than those normally used in national polls(26) -- driving the margin of error down to approximately plus or minus one percent.(27)

              On the evening of the vote, reporters at each of the major networks were briefed by pollsters at 7:54 p.m. Kerry, they were informed, had an insurmountable lead and would win by a rout: at least 309 electoral votes to Bush's 174, with fifty-five too close to call.(28) In London, Prime Minister Tony Blair went to bed contemplating his relationship with President-elect Kerry.(29)

              As the last polling stations closed on the West Coast, exit polls showed Kerry ahead in ten of eleven battleground states -- including commanding leads in Ohio and Florida -- and winning by a million and a half votes nationally. The exit polls even showed Kerry breathing down Bush's neck in supposed GOP strongholds Virginia and North Carolina.(30) Against these numbers, the statistical likelihood of Bush winning was less than one in 450,000.(31) ''Either the exit polls, by and large, are completely wrong,'' a Fox News analyst declared, ''or George Bush loses.''(32)

              But as the evening progressed, official tallies began to show implausible disparities -- as much as 9.5 percent -- with the exit polls. In ten of the eleven battleground states, the tallied margins departed from what the polls had predicted. In every case, the shift favored Bush. Based on exit polls, CNN had predicted Kerry defeating Bush in Ohio by a margin of 4.2 percentage points. Instead, election results showed Bush winning the state by 2.5 percent. Bush also tallied 6.5 percent more than the polls had predicted in Pennsylvania, and 4.9 percent more in Florida.(33)

              According to Steven F. Freeman, a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in research methodology, the odds against all three of those shifts occurring in concert are one in 660,000. ''As much as we can say in sound science that something is impossible,'' he says, ''it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote count in the three critical battleground states of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error.'' (See The Tale of the Exit Polls)

              Puzzled by the discrepancies, Freeman laboriously examined the raw polling data released by Edison/Mitofsky in January 2005. ''I'm not even political -- I despise the Democrats,'' he says. ''I'm a survey expert. I got into this because I was mystified about how the exit polls could have been so wrong.'' In his forthcoming book, Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen? Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, Freeman lays out a statistical analysis of the polls that is deeply troubling.

              In its official postmortem report issued two months after the election, Edison/Mitofsky was unable to identify any flaw in its methodology -- so the pollsters, in essence, invented one for the electorate. According to Mitofsky, Bush partisans were simply disinclined to talk to exit pollsters on November 2nd(34) -- displaying a heretofore unknown and undocumented aversion that skewed the polls in Kerry's favor by a margin of 6.5 percent nationwide.(35)

              Industry peers didn't buy it. John Zogby, one of the nation's leading pollsters, told me that Mitofsky's ''reluctant responder'' hypothesis is ''preposterous.''(36) Even Mitofsky, in his official report, underscored the hollowness of his theory: ''It is difficult to pinpoint precisely the reasons that, in general, Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.''(37)

              Now, thanks to careful examination of Mitofsky's own data by Freeman and a team of eight researchers, we can say conclusively that the theory is dead wrong. In fact it was Democrats, not Republicans, who were more disinclined to answer pollsters' questions on Election Day. In Bush strongholds, Freeman and the other researchers found that fifty-six percent of voters completed the exit survey -- compared to only fifty-three percent in Kerry strongholds.(38) ''The data presented to support the claim not only fails to substantiate it,'' observes Freeman, ''but actually contradicts it.''

              What's more, Freeman found, the greatest disparities between exit polls and the official vote count came in Republican strongholds.
              In precincts where Bush received at least eighty percent of the vote, the exit polls were off by an average of ten percent. By contrast, in precincts where Kerry dominated by eighty percent or more, the exit polls were accurate to within three tenths of one percent -- a pattern that suggests Republican election officials stuffed the ballot box in Bush country.(39)

              ''When you look at the numbers, there is a tremendous amount of data that supports the supposition of election fraud,''
              concludes Freeman. ''The discrepancies are higher in battleground states, higher where there were Republican governors, higher in states with greater proportions of African-American communities and higher in states where there were the most Election Day complaints. All these are strong indicators of fraud -- and yet this supposition has been utterly ignored by the press and, oddly, by the Democratic Party.''

              The evidence is especially strong in Ohio.
              In January, a team of mathematicians from the National Election Data Archive, a nonpartisan watchdog group, compared the state's exit polls against the certified vote count in each of the forty-nine precincts polled by Edison/Mitofsky. In twenty-two of those precincts -- nearly half of those polled -- they discovered results that differed widely from the official tally. Once again -- against all odds -- the widespread discrepancies were stacked massively in Bush's favor: In only two of the suspect twenty-two precincts did the disparity benefit Kerry. The wildest discrepancy came from the precinct Mitofsky numbered ''27,'' in order to protect the anonymity of those surveyed. According to the exit poll, Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only thirty-eight percent. The statistical odds against such a variance are just shy of one in 3 billion.(40)

              Such results, according to the archive, provide ''virtually irrefutable evidence of vote miscount.'' The discrepancies, the experts add, ''are consistent with the hypothesis that Kerry would have won Ohio's electoral votes if Ohio's official vote counts had accurately reflected voter intent.''(41) According to Ron Baiman, vice president of the archive and a public policy analyst at Loyola University in Chicago, ''No rigorous statistical explanation'' can explain the ''completely nonrandom'' disparities that almost uniformly benefited Bush. The final results, he adds, are ''completely consistent with election fraud -- specifically vote shifting.''

              You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

              by FightTheFuture on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:24:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, keep digging (0+ / 0-)

                It would be nice if you talked straight, however:

                You keep saying electin polls are no good

                Umm, no. I said they're inherently a flawed way of verifying election outcomes.

                I've read all those folks. I have no clue how you decided that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was a reliable source of information on exit polls, but you sure haven't given the rest of us any reason to agree.

                As for Exit Polls, properly designed, and the statistics are well understood today, they are extremely reliable, except here.

                Even if that were true, it wouldn't be very helpful, since "here" is where we are. Actually, the British exit polls in 1992 were rather a mess. (Even in Germany, the 2005 ZDF exit poll in Germany initially overstated the winning margin by 3 points -- I don't know how Freeman missed that.)

                I won't bother to rebut Kennedy point by point, because that has already been done at length.

                I will ask whether you seriously believe that Kerry won New Hampshire by 15 points, as the exit poll says.

                •  Cherry pick the facts, you still miss the forest. (0+ / 0-)

                  Its clear that Kerry likely won Ohio.  Does Ken blackweel mean anything to you?  As for New Hampshire I have not looked at that but I point you to this from the RS article which showed a 29% variance:

                  ... The wildest discrepancy came from the [Ohio] precinct Mitofsky numbered ''27,'' in order to protect the anonymity of those surveyed. According to the exit poll, Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only thirty-eight percent. The statistical odds against such a variance are just shy of one in 3 billion.(40)

                  While exit polling is not exact, it is the best thing we have to predict the outcome and help verify  if fraud is occurring AT the poll when we are past the disenfranchisement portion.  The higher the sample, the more accurate it should be.  They were not.  So, is it really the exit polls, or is election theft happening on a large coordinated scale now with the new electronic vote tabulation and good old fashioned disenfranchisement on a very coordinated level.  It does not seem to be the exit polls here.  Too much shit has occurred that, as Kenney pointed out:

                  ...the widespread discrepancies were stacked massively in Bush's favor: In only two of the suspect twenty-two precincts did the disparity benefit Kerry.

                  You argue with a few cherry picked examples, ignoring ALL THE TIMES the exit polls were spot on.  Very disingenuous of you and I am calling you on your bullshit.  Also, you point out the Mark Blumenthal article which did not rebut Kennedy point by point as much as clarified his article.  Blumenthal's more skeptical, but he did rule out that fraud did not occur.  He's just not sure, being lost in the minutiae and missing everything that has been occurring.

                  I suggest you try to consider 1) the Corporate pOwend Media's reluctance to question what the fuck is going on, and 2) the consistent failure of Exit Polls here that massively favor toward Bush and the Republicans when they fail.  Odd, don't ya think?

                  The only reason the Dems even won as much as they did in the 2006 election was because of the unprecedented turnout for a mid-term election.  The machine theft and other malarkey they had in place was overwhelmed.  Even then, the Dems should have won by a larger margin.

                  You say ignore exit polls because we cannot be sure.  I say your a fool to do so.  Whatever weaknesses they might have they are relatively minor when applied to a number of failures across the country that massively favor Bush and the rethugs.  The chance for consistent predictive failures should be reduced.  We are not talking about just one election in one locality here, or is that missed on you??

                  You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

                  by FightTheFuture on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 04:22:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  evidence against the accuracy of the exit poll (0+ / 0-)

                    Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only thirty-eight percent.

                    OK, so, where is the precinct where Kerry's vote share was 30 points lower than it should have been? Of course, if you think the exit poll is representative, you're not really looking for one of those; each exit poll precinct is standing in for something like 300 precincts around the state. So, where are the hundreds of precincts where Kerry's vote share was something like 30 points too low?

                    Would I be going out on a crazy limb to speculate that you've never actually examined those data?

                    You say ignore exit polls because we cannot be sure.

                    Uh, no. I would say to stop making up my side of the argument, but it's probably a waste of time to suggest that.

            •  Nice lie with the facts on Carter, you ass. (0+ / 0-)

              The rec you mention is regarding elections in Mexico back in 1994 when they have been fixed and stolen for years and no one trusts the process.  The Carter Center does not condemn exit polls, per se.  Here is what the report actually says (I've highlighted it because you are drowning in stooopid and need it):

              Avoid exit polls, which are unreliable in a climate of suspicion and which will create a negative atmosphere if the voters feel they are being watched. Quick counts, however, are essential, but they must be well coordinated and the public needs to be informed of their significance

              In fact, with Venezuela's recall election vote on Chavez in 2004, the Carter Center was fine with the exit poll results declaring Chavez the winner:

              A few hours later, the official count, by an election commission under Mr. Chávez's control, declared him the winner, with 58 percent of the total. Both the Organization of American States and the Carter Center, the Atlanta-based human rights organization founded by Jimmy Carter, said that their observers had seen no irregularities at the polls. In response to the exit poll, they called for a random audit at selected polling stations and again found nothing suspicious.

              You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

              by FightTheFuture on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:37:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  projection much? (0+ / 0-)

                First of all, are you suggesting that we should trust exit polls in the United States because everyone trusts the process?

                Do you even seriously think that the Carter Center was saying that exit polls are totally reliable except in a climate of suspicion?

                Most important, have you actually forgotten that you were the one who wrote this?

                Exit polls are consdiered [sic] a gold standard to judge elections for fraud around the world.

                Way to move the goalposts, dude.

                Right, the Carter Center endorses quick counts. WTF do you think that has to do with your argument?

                But wait, it gets worse for you. You say that "the Carter Center was fine with the exit poll results declaring Chavez the winner...." In the first case it's possible that you just don't know what "quick counts" means, but here it is crystal clear that you didn't read the article you quoted:

                . Sometime before the polls closed on Aug. 15, Penn, Schoen reported that 59 percent of Venezuelan voters had said yes to throwing the president out of office.

                The Carter Center wasn't "fine with the exit poll results" -- they were fine discounting the exit poll results.

                Oops.

                •  Sorry, I missread that. Still, I do not see the (0+ / 0-)

                  Carter Center condemning exit polls in the link you provided as I pointed out.  

                  I do see you cherry picking facts of minor failures in exit polls throughout time around the world while ignoring the massive failure of them here at home in the last several elections.  They have worked very well here, and many other places, again and again, except for recently.  Hmmmm....  still, better to ignore a powerful tool like exit polls which are clearly suggesting massive vote fraud rather than suspect the worst of Bush, Karl and the Republicans.  After all, what have they done to engender suspicion as being less than honest characters???

                  You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

                  by FightTheFuture on Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 04:29:29 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "condemning"? (0+ / 0-)

                    What they say is: "Avoid exit polls, which are unreliable in a climate of suspicion [yadda yadda]." I never said anything about "condemning," and pretty puzzled why you can't seem to stop sticking words in my mouth.

                    Apparently the rules are that no matter how misinformed you prove yourself to be, I'm automatically wrong. Kewl.

      •  That's not necessarily correct (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean, HudsonValleyMark

        The exit polls were off in many handcounted states as well, as well as in many states were the disparity did not change the final outcome. Take New Hampshire, for example. The exit polls there showed Kerry winning by about 7 points, but he won by only 1.5 points. Fortunately, they have paper trail in New Hampshire, and a hand recount found ZERO irregularities in vote counting.

        It could also be that conservatives distrust media organizations far more than liberals do, and hence actively try to avoid exit pollsters.

        •  clarification here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          echatwa

          There's really no state that can be called a "handcounted" state. New Hampshire does use a lot of hand counts, and had a huge exit poll discrepancy -- actually much larger than you say. (The tabulation, incorporating pre-election expectations, gave Kerry an 11-point lead; the exit-poll-only estimate was Kerry +15.0!)

          And you're right that a partial hand recount of optical scan ballots, in areas where the results were believed to be anomalous, found only trivial differences from the machine counts.

    •  They did work, the election was stolen. Ok. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama

      You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

      by FightTheFuture on Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:21:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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