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Texas, with over 25 million residents, will not have an exit poll next month.

As the curator of the Daily Kos Elections Polling Wrap, one trend in the 2012 electoral cycle that has not escaped my attention has been the relative paucity of polling in this presidential election cycle, when compared to other cycles.

For example, in 2008, there were 2,730 polls released in either presidential or downballot races, not counting national or primary polls. This year, despite having a much better method of gathering polling data (to say nothing of the assistance of the rest of the Daily Kos Elections team, something I did not have in 2008), this election year has brought just over 1,450 polls to-date. To put it another way, to merely match 2008's polling output, we would need to average a release of about 300-350 polls per week for the rest of the cycle. That is, suffice to say, unlikely.

Unfortunately, we learned this week that the 2012 polling blackout is going to extend to what every losing candidate colloquially refers to as "the only poll that matters":

Breaking from two decades of tradition, this year’s election exit poll is set to include surveys of voters in 31 states, not all 50 as it has for the past five presidential elections, according to multiple people involved in the planning.

Dan Merkle, director of elections for ABC News, and a member of the consortium that runs the exit poll, confirmed the shift Thursday. The aim, he said, “is to still deliver a quality product in the most important states,” in the face of mounting survey costs.

The decision by the National Election Pool — a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press — is sure to cause some pain to election watchers across the country.

While mournful, the decision nevertheless had seemed somewhat inevitable. With rising costs, and dwindling resources, we have already seen the major media outlets make slashing cuts to their polling budgets, with few media outlets even polling weekly, with only a month to go until the election.

The criteria for inclusion and exclusion is predicated solely on the presidential race, it would seem. One imagines that the typical consumer of the media outlets only cares about the presidential race, and that gives the NEP the green light to cut states that are generally conceded to be safely in the corner of either President Obama or Mitt Romney.

With this in mind, these were the 20 entities (including the District of Columbia) that were summoned to the polling guillotine by the media outlets:

Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
The casual observer might look at this collection of states and say, "So what? These are all dark-red and dark-blue states. What is the big deal?"

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Here is the big deal:

1. How in the world is the NEP defining a "competitive" or "uncompetitive" state?

Do I think the outcome in these 20 locations is baked in? Perhaps. But the curious thing here is not what was included in the exit poll purge. It was what was not included in the exit poll purge.

Nearly half of the 19 states excluded from the NEP exit poll rotation have something in common: They resulted in a single-digit margin of victory in 2008, or there has been a poll in the 2012 cycle showing that state in single digits. Just last week, a poll out of Louisiana had Mitt Romney's advantage at six points. Do I think that Mitt Romney will lose Louisiana? Well, no, I don't. But Barack Obama's average lead in Pennsylvania over the last month has been greater than that. There have been polls in both Georgia and South Carolina in the last 12 months showing the states within the margin. Does Barack Obama have a respectable shot in either? No. But if the final outcome of a state is liable to be within single digits (which could happen in both, as it did in 2008), it would seem a worthy target for exit polling.

The decision to drop potentially intriguing states is even more maddening when you consider some of the states that the NEP exit poll will keep in the rotation. Why, if you accept the premise that polling all 50 states is cost-prohibitive and some states need to be jettisoned, are Kansas and Mississippi still being polled?

Kansas doesn't even have a Senate or gubernatorial race, and the presidential margin is expected to easily be in double digits. They do have a ballot measure looking to alter the property tax on boats, but that seems to be a pretty damned thin rationale for exit polling a state Mitt Romney is likely to carry with north of 55 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, I'll give the exit poll consortium the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they mistakenly thought that freshman Sen. Roger Wicker was squaring off with former Vice President Al Gore, and not this Some Dude of the same name. Otherwise, there is little to no rationale for polling the Magnolia State. Heck, there are one of only 13 states to not even have any compelling ballot measures on the ballot.

2. What about the races downballot?

Just because a state is clearly destined to wind up red or blue in the electoral college does not automatically render that same state meaningless. The consortium's list of banished states ignores, apparently, that we are also electing a Senate whose partisan control may well be on a knife's edge, as well as a dozen governors.

That makes the exclusion of three different states here somewhat surprising. The exclusion of one, North Dakota, is nothing short of outrageous. If the GOP is to claim the Senate, as has been their stated goal since the confetti was swept up in 2010, they are going to need to claim the open seat in North Dakota being abandoned by retiring Democrat Kent Conrad. The early assumption was that this was an automatic pickup for the GOP, given the reddish tendencies of the state. But Democratic nominee Heidi Heitkamp has outhustled Republican congressman Rick Berg, and the willingness of the Democrats to release their polling, and the reticence of the Republicans, are a significant hint that an upset may be afoot. Apparently, though, we are going to have to wait until well into the evening to know for sure.

Two other states have races where there is a pronounced lean in the likely outcome, but are states where a tight race is still eminently possible. In Hawaii, the GOP has thrown a boatload of money at former GOP Gov. Linda Lingle, and while polls show her trailing Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono in her bid to replace longtime Sen. Daniel Akaka, the sheer size of the GOP effort to make the race competitive makes it a race that merits watching. Meanwhile, in West Virginia, we get a gubernatorial rematch of a race that was decided by three points just one year ago. The assumption is that Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has done enough to lock down a full term, but given the anti-Obama sentiment among West Virginians, it might be a race worth getting a read on.

And, again, the exclusion of these three states is maddening given some other states that made the cut. Alabama has no Senate race, a wholly uncompetitive presidential forecast, and not even any reasonably competitive House races. The only race of note may be a state amendment on the ballot gunning for the mandate portion of Obamacare. While a more pressing national issue than the Kansas boat tax, it is still hard to say that it is a more deserving issue for consideration in exit polling than the potential tie-breaking race in the Senate.

3. Who said exit polls are only about Nov. 6?

Even if one were to concede that the outcome in these 20 locations was beyond doubt, and that the trailing presidential candidate has precisely zero chance of scoring the state's electoral votes, there is a big problem with eliminating some of these states wholesale.

Exit polls are not just a predictive measurement of how an electoral outcome will play out. They are also a research and information resource, one which allows us to detect and track electoral trends in states over time.

For this reason alone, the exclusion of Texas is an enormous error in judgment. A number of political observers, and not solely on the left, suspect a sea change in politics is underway in Texas. Changing demographics, it is theorized, could turn the second-largest state in the Union into a purple, if not blue, state within the decade.

But to know if that phenomenon is legitimate, or merely the wishes and hopes of some left-of-center analysts, we need data to support or refute it. Data which, apparently, will not be forthcoming. It would be extraordinarily valuable to not only see how the ethnic composition of the Texas electorate has changed (if it indeed does change) between 2008-2012. Furthermore, it would be of great value to know if, as the Latino population in the state grows, their voting behavior changes, as well.

The same is true for other fast-growing states excluded from the exit polling rotation. Is the rapid growth of Georgia and South Carolina going to reinforce the redness of those two states, or will it edge them closer to parity, as has been the case in states like North Carolina and Virginia? Sadly, it will be harder for us to answer that question, having lost this data of the likeliest of voters.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos Elections.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can't be just the presidential, or (31+ / 0-)

    they would have axed Massachusetts. There's got to be some interest in the Senate race here for Mass. to still be in the list.

  •  "Trying to avoid a situation (22+ / 0-)

    where the result varies wildly from the data" would be my assertion.  I am both suspicious and skeptical of motives.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:10:17 AM PDT

    •  They can not avoid that. (14+ / 0-)

      Hence the cries of skewed every time the polls show a positive outcome for Democrats. I fear the voting machines and those responsible for verity are compromised plants like
      Harris in Florida and that woman in Wisconsin.

      Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:13:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You refer to the notorious (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III, Sassy

        Kathy Nicklaus, Election Queen on Waukesha County.  Thankfully, she's not running for re-election (at long last), but there will be someone equally odious in office in the near future tomake sure that the Waukesha election results are just as rigged.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

        by Puddytat on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:13:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the way to do that wd. be not to exit-poll at all (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rschndr, Sharon Wraight

      Skepticism is good, but try to follow through!

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:18:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am skeptical of all polls this cycle, and I have (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB, Shirl In Idaho, Puddytat, Smoh

      never felt that way before.  During 2004, 2008 and even 2010, I watched polls as often as they came out and never felt like I do now.  

      I just don't trust them at all.  Even the good ones, that I should trust.  I really think there are hidden agendas everywhere.  Maybe my tin foil is too heavy on my head right now....just wish I could get over this distrust.

      •  Your 'trust sensor' isn't broken (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, Smoh, eps62

        It is the media which is the bad actor in this cycle. In the past it has been a service, now it is a business, and is acting accordingly

        If my faith has been shaken in anything, it has been the news. Morrow and Cronkite are dead. So is the media they worked for. All we have now is advertisements.

        If God is just, I tremble for my country. - Thomas Jefferson

        by MightyMoose on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:59:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Most of them are red states though, that is what (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, eps62, CJB

      is strange. Why?

       They have Texas but not California or New York and half of the south but not the equivalent up north?

      And why ever Wisconsin, when it is a battleground state for one and had a very odd election months ago, would we not want to see data from this state???

    •  Agree. I also don't buy the resources excuse. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      middleagedhousewife, Puddytat, CJB

      While cable channels may be struggling, network profits have been rising. Plus, the networks pocket a huge chunk of the $3 billion that is being spent on political ads this election cycle. That's a LOT of money.

      I remain very concerned about the effect of voter suppression and the possibility of outright vote theft. Knowing that there won't be exit polls in a given state also means knowing that it will be much easier to get away with a stolen election.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:07:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Networks, not exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flitedocnm

        There's little or no political advertising on the networks as networks. There's a LOT of ads on local stations that are affiliated with networks but that money does not go to the networks, only to the station owners.

        ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox do own some stations, but there is (still, I think) a limit on each network's owned and operated stations. And those are mostly in the biggest markets -- NY, LA, Chi, SF Bay, Philly, Boston, Dallas, H-town, ATL, etc. (As it happens, most large markets are not in battleground states, with Washington-Baltimore a notable exception.)

        Most TV stations are owned by smaller companies, that often grew from newspaper publishers. So, Tribune, Hearst, Belo, Cox, Scripps, Gannett, Media General, Post-Newsweek, Journal ...

        I haven't read the links, so I don't know if the local station owners are being asked to put anything in the pot for exit polls.

        -----------

        Completely share your concern that exit polls can protect against potential election fraud.

  •  This is down right dangerous (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan, StellaRay, YucatanMan, eps62

    What are those conspiracy nut cases in the Tea Party going to say if the national vote is very close, but the exit polls are way out of line?

    I really think the census bureau ought to conduct in depth exit polls to be made immediately available after the election is finished.

    •  Think about what you're saying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, robbinsdale radical

      You want the executive branch to conduct exit polls to placate wingnut conspiracy theorists.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:27:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have this backwards. (0+ / 0-)

      A) Conservative talking points discredit polling six weeks out.

      B) News agencies conduct exit polling in fewer places.

      C) Unsecure Diebold voting machines are still in wide use.

      If Rove's minions flip a few key districts:

      a) If there was no exit poll, how will anyone know something suspicious happened?

      b) If there is a poll that indicates data fondling, and the Democrats try to get a recount, FOXNews et al will howl and say the DEMOCRATs are trying to steal the election using those filthy rigged polls as pretext.

      This is one of many reasons why the Obama team cannot settle for a close win. They need to use these debates to go for a blowout, not a polite near draw.

      "the tranquilizing drug of gradualism" - MLK

      by 3rdOption on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 01:19:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  like Citizens United: corporate hands on the lever (12+ / 0-)
    National Election Pool — a joint venture of the major television networks and The Associated Press
    The AP is a not-for-profit cooperative owned by the 1,400 U.S. daily newspapers that are AP members. These members elect a board of directors that directs the cooperative.
    Who owns newspapers in the US

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:12:55 AM PDT

    •  I was going to suggest ... (8+ / 0-)

      ... that choices to poll or not poll are likely based on media markets, not the interests of the electorate. Obviously, I can't formulate anything concrete, but I'd speculate that the constituent members of the NEP have internal data suggesting that polling Kansas is of greater benefit to them in terms of viewer or reader demographics than polling Louisiana or Texas.

      Just an unsubstantiated hunch.

      ---

      "The fundamental curse of the Republican party is its irrepressible disposition to meddle with other people's business, and impose its notions, and its will, on people who do not freely accept them." -- The New York Freeman's Journal, 1861

      by dzog on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:51:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd also assume (0+ / 0-)

        Some of it is cost-related. Kansas is probably pretty cheap to do, whereas Texas could be pretty expensive.

        Your theory does make sense, its the best explanation I can give for why states like Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Illinois are in this because they feel residents of those states are more likely than their counterparts in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, etc. to be interested in exit poll data.

    •  The graphic isn't zooming (0+ / 0-)

      Do you have a direct link?

      If God is just, I tremble for my country. - Thomas Jefferson

      by MightyMoose on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:03:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exit polling is what I'd cut if I cut anything (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, rschndr, Pinto Pony

    First, because we're only hours away from getting "the only poll that matters."  Second, because voters generally don't know or at least can't articulate their motivations, and that's assuming they are even nominally truthful in their responses.   By falling back on explicit inference from information that is performative (actual voting) we can get some much-needed modesty about what is knowable and what isn't.  The only thing that surprises me about the decision to reduce exit polling is that the monster would make the decision to stop feeding itself.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

    •  Currently, exit polls are the ONLY (7+ / 0-)

      check and balance for election fraud that I can think of.

      Never have received any kind of explanation why our entrenched and unpopular Rep Don Young was down so far in the polls before the election but won with a healthy margin.

      As far as I know, there were no exit polls.   Had there been exit polls indicating a different expectation than actual election results, there might be cause to investigate.

      But, crickets.

      Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

      by Gustogirl on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:48:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the votes are the check and balance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sayitaintso

        Exit poll results are neither trustworthy nor actionable.

        Contrariwise, I believe that there is either a paper ballot or a VVPAT for every vote cast in Alaska, along with a (not especially good) audit provision and a candidate-initiated partial recount provision. So, if Ethan Berkowitz in 2008 thought the votes had been miscounted, I think he had the opportunity to check.

        What pre-election polls do you mean? Research 2000 is the only firm I know of that polled. That may have been the problem.

        Election protection: there's an app for that!
        Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

        by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 02:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  there's always a tension here... (5+ / 0-)

    Yes, from the standpoint of knowledge, it's kind of nuts not only to exit-poll Texas, but to exit-poll it as if it were a swing state.

    But most of the money comes from the networks, and the networks wouldn't reap much benefit. Some of the newspapers who subscribe might get some good stories out of it -- and the rest of us could learn all sorts of things -- but the public good is underprovided because of the financing mechanism.

    Election protection: there's an app for that!
    Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

    by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:16:53 AM PDT

  •  The GOP will be happy to see a lot of close (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, eps62, 3rdOption

    percentages in exit polls because they know how to and are predisposed to round up to the number needed through, here it comes, any means necessary.

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:21:18 AM PDT

  •  Exit polls were the last checks and balances (7+ / 0-)

    Repugs are now free to rig machines and counting systems and engage in all the tricks of back end fraud after they succeed in the front end tricks of voter suppression.

    Most of the states without exit polling now are either red or swing. IMO it is part of a grand strategy to turn part of America into a one party Soviet style "democracy".

    Ohio 2004 was awful and I'll never forgive Kerry for conceding so quickly.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:21:22 AM PDT

  •  Exit polls help guard against fraud (10+ / 0-)

    With electronic voting machines in the hands of private companies, and so much opportunity for hacker manipulation, exit polling is one way to help safeguard against fraud.

    It is my fear that with less exit polling being conducted, there are more opportunities for corporations to rig elections.

    Carpe Diem! @leliorisen

    by Lelio Risen on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:22:22 AM PDT

  •  I don't like this at all. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DMentalist, dfe, Micheline, No Exit, eps62

    I understand that costs are rising and all, but you do, after all, have multiple major networks in on this thing. Can the costs really be that prohibitive when you consider some of the crap that they blow money on?

    Using these exit polls to aid in calling races is not all they're good for. These exit polls give us a lot of insight as to who voted, why they voted the way they did, and give us info on how demographics of the electorate has changed and the trajectory that it is on for future elections.

    I just don't see how the costs could possibly justify not conducting these polls in well over a third of states.

    •  I have to agree (7+ / 0-)

          Since ballots are cast in secret, the final vote tally tells us nothing about the demographics of who voted.  So we may know which candidates and ballot measures won the most votes, but there is no data for journalists and historians to explain WHY they won.

           And while I don't quite buy into the conspiracy theories of those commenters who are suggesting that this is being done for the purpose of concealing election fraud, removing the check and balance does seem to at least make elections more vulnerable in the future.  Just as dismantling oversight regulations on Wall Street eventually led to criminal and negligent behavior, leaving some states unobserved seems to increase the potential for shenanigans in those states where people know they don't have to worry about being watched by exit pollsters.  

    •  The MSM is hacking away at foreign correspondents, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Tommy Aces

      ... and a great deal else about news coverage. Entertainment is the driving money maker for advertisers on networks and most cable, so that's where their budgets go.

      Funding excellent exit polling is something a foundation working with academics could do an A-one job of. Then let whoever wants the results fast or in granular detail, for example, pay for them.

      Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:18:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These are for profit businesses... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jgumby

      ...and most of them have shrinking audiences and advertising revenue.

      The idea that they can continue to support full 50 state exit polling when audiences are not supporting them seems to me like wishful thinking.

      How many people here still have a subscription to their local daily newspaper?  Some of that is money that could go to support 50 state polling.  Same thing on the TV side, where we throw massive money in the form of cable TV subscriber fees at the NFL and other sports leagues...but not so much towards real news coverage (as supposed to opinion driven junk like Fox News).  

      So while I am unhappy that the 50 state polling is going away, I really don't think we can just lay the blame on the newspapers and TV networks that are no longer willing and able to fund it.

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:45:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is a serious mistake, however (0+ / 0-)

    I think that the traditional exit poll has already been defeated to some degree by non-precinct voting. The Times published a great graphic to illustrate thatthis weekend. How do you exit poll Oregon? You just take a high quality phone poll. But that's increasingly difficult: people don't respond, and the landline is in a death spiral. I don't have one, and I don't know anyone my age who does.

    What we need to do is to find a reliable replacement for the phone poll. Robopollsters, who cannot even legally pay the extra cost to call cell phones, soldier on, but I'm not sure how much longer they can be trusted to show much of anything. (SUSA has a much reduced output, but they have started to integrate an internet survey for non-landline household). Excluding cell phone only households at this point is probably not justifiable.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:24:05 AM PDT

  •  how is exit polling like voter supression (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:24:40 AM PDT

  •  Amazing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, eps62

    President Barack Obama shows up in the WH, and then everything changes...... Why didn't this happen in 2000, 2004, 2008?

    The GOP hate me! I'm black, a woman, disabled veteran, divorced mother and liberal. THEY SUCK!

    by secret38b on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:29:40 AM PDT

  •  Texas is about 1/12 of the population of the US (11+ / 0-)

    ..but no exit poll? Come again?

  •  unverifiable electronic voting (7+ / 0-)

    is exactly that - unverifiable. Exit polls are the last reality check. With that gone they can make it up and often do.

    The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

    by moon in the house of moe on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:39:02 AM PDT

  •  It is so obvious (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre, ozsea1, apimomfan2, eps62

    that the righ-twingers will do anything to win and don't care how it looks since the corporate media will hardly report what is going on. Venezuela have had  and will have more honest elections than we have here. But Hugo Chavez is supposed to be a dictator so that does not count.

  •  Number discrepancies in diary? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    31 states will have exit polls.

    The list of states that were dropped says there were 20, except that there are 21 on that list.

    50 - 21 = 29

    I guess i'm in a picky mood this morning....

    And, they're still exit polling Vermont? Why?

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:46:06 AM PDT

    •  still exit polling Vermont? it must be the cows nt (2+ / 0-)

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:51:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Count Again... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzik shpitzik, GeorgeXVIII, ozsea1

      There are 20 locations (19 states plus DC) on the list, at least that was my count from the blockquote.

      And it is 51, because of DC. So 51-20=31.

      Vermont is a curious call, as well. Maybe they thought the gubernatorial race would be close, because Shumlin barely won in 2010. But he is up huge in what little public polling is available...

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:13:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah.... DC. (Never mind, sorry to bother...) (0+ / 0-)

        There are only two statewide contests where the Democrats are not assured of a complete romp here: Auditor of Accounts and Treasurer, and I doubt they'd be paying exit pollers to track these races.

        "So, am I right or what?"

        by itzik shpitzik on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:23:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Political Ad Black Hole? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No Exit, apimomfan2, eps62

    You would think with all the intensive ad buys across the nation for this candidate or that proposition that the polling would be in high demand. Media outlets should be making more money this election than any other due to the influx of political advertising.

    So why are they having to cut back on polls that help frame the results of those ads?

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:51:32 AM PDT

    •  yeah... aren't the media outlets making money (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bailey2001, apimomfan2, eps62

      hand over fist with the political spending this year...  and they can't afford effing exit polls...

      something smells fishy...

      A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

      by No Exit on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:58:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When it comes to polling ORC, the Pollster CNN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre

    uses has really cut back on their State Polling and I damn don't know why.

    In 2008 & 2010 CNN released Five important Battleground State Polls every week on Wednesday at 4pm...

    So far in 2012 CNN has released only 4 !!! State Polls the entire Election Cycle: North Carolina & Florida the week before the Conventions began and then Michigan & Nevada in Mid Sept.

    That is for my polling smell test not sufficient enough.

    •  The Answer, Simply, Is Money (5+ / 0-)

      The weakened economy, and the continued fragmentation of the media market share, is a big reason why polling budgets have hit the skids.

      Plus, lower response rates (thanks, telemarketers) means more calls, means polling has become a great deal more expensive.

      "Every one is king when there's no one left to pawn" (BRMC)
      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos/Daily Kos Elections

      by Steve Singiser on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:15:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pundits are cheaper than facts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GeorgeXVIII, ozsea1, eps62

        It's consistent with the rest of what passes for journalism these days. Cut back on actual reporting of actual facts, and fill the empty space with opinions, wisecracks, predictions about what will happen in the future, and musing on what it all means.

        Next step is to replace meteorology-based weather forecasts with someone chatting away for 10 minutes about the meaning of autumn and does he/she think the foliage be brighter this year in VT vs. Maine.

  •  Don't throw away a state (5+ / 0-)

    Until 2008, Dems held the TN legislature for decades. Only Upper East Tn was solidly Repub, but Dems did get elected. In 2000, the legislature decided to let repubs redistrict Upper E TN, and the result was that some of the most powerful repubs in the state (Ron Ramsey, for example) got their foothold in Upper E TN.
    In 2006, TN almost made history when Harold Ford was defeated by only 2%. Many called it racist, but that defeat had more to do with the fact that several members of his family had been indicted for bribery and other crimes, and he was more conservative than liberal.
    That race was one of the few times that the national Dem party even bothered to notice us. They always just write us off. I believe that deliberate snub has contributed to the Republicans being able  to take over our legislature and gain such a foothold.
    Now, we're being written off with exit polls.
    You can't expect anybody to vote for you if they're ignored and insulted, and you can't expect honesty in elections if you don't take the time to even take an exit poll.

    •  Rec'd by a former Tennesseean (0+ / 0-)

      I'd really like to know, for example, to what extent the immigrant communities in Nashville are participating politically. And many polls have shown Tennessee moderately close, so it at least deserves an exit poll.

      Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

      by fearlessfred14 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:54:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, goodie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, DSPS owl, eps62

    another way to "not be able to keep track" of the likely outcomes. The better to ensure as few facts as possible getting in the way of the final vote counts.

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 08:54:56 AM PDT

  •  Re Texas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1

    I wonder if the image of Texas as "cowboyish" or "frontiersman" is something that's going to have to change before (or maybe after) such a potential change in the behavior of the Texan electorate.

    •  no, democrats will have to come up with a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Americantrueandblue

      narrative that includes the west as an important part of the country. not disdaining cowboys and frontiersmen as caricatures would presumably be part of that.

      the democratic party of the 21st century will not be the solely east + midwest party of the late 20th. its self-image will have to adjust.

  •  Are Republicans harder done by? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony

    Most of the cuts are in Red states so the early impression cohld be of Obama romping to victory as red states can't be called so soon. Could that depress R turnout in CO and NV?

  •  My first reaction was (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, llywrch, eps62

    of concern, as some have already stated.

    But, having been thru only one Pres election in a full-on high-information voter mode, I am still a newbee in all this.

    So, my reaction could be 'ill-informed'.

    To those that are experienced, and are concerned about this reduction in exit polls, is there any action we can take at this (very late) stage in the game?

    I smell a Repug manipulation. Again, this could be from inexperience. But, if you don't get exit polls, how do we know if the machine tally's are not wildly off?

    Are the repugs not being as successful with voter supression as they had hoped? Maybe this is Plan (X, Y, Z) of their playbook.

    Just shaking my head and wondering.

    “Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may wet my mind and say something clever.”-Aristophanes

    by karma13612 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:05:17 AM PDT

  •  So there's no evidence of any irregulaties (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch, atana

    When I last voted in Texas, I saw the voting machine flip my vote. They've likely gotten more sophisticated about that, but exit polls give some evidence when the results match some predetermined outcome rather than the will of the voters. With rampant vote suppression efforts across the country, extending to even in-house training of "vote challengers" aka intimidation crew by the RNC and Romney campaigns, intentional disinformation about voting being spread, is it any stretch to think there are plans to tamper with counting the votes?

  •  A possible alternative? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    karma13612, ozsea1, Alice Olson

    One alternative might be for the Democratic Party to have one volunteer at each precinct whose job would simply be to hand out a survey to each voter as they arrive at the polls.  The voter would answer demographic questions and voting choices while standing in line or while in the voting booth filling in the ballot, and then hand the survey back to the volunteer as they leave.  The survey would be short so that the voter would be more likely to fill it in, leaving out races further down the ballot.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:11:26 AM PDT

  •  Exit polls are a key demographic of America. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    norm, eps62

    While they cannot assure us how anyone actually voted (if a red neck spouse is within earshot when you went against the church and voted for Obama), or even that the polled person is telling the truth about her or his ethnicity, income, etc., they DO tell us WHO went to the polls. And more probably than not, the polled person will tell mostly the truth about most things.

    Nothing else about elections reliably yields that bundle of information so accessibly.
    I think the major cable networks should pitch in to fund those polls, as well as anyone who writes a book using the data (a la Chuck Todd's excellent little book, How Obama Won).

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:11:27 AM PDT

  •  This is just stupid, the list of states make no (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No Exit, eps62

    sense????

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 09:13:44 AM PDT

  •  meh.. there's only one poll that matters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rschndr, Pinto Pony

    on election day.

    With early voting and absentee voting used as heavily as it is, exit polls are nearly worthless as a predictive tool.  Tabulation is done fast enough these days that having an extra hour or two jump on the totals (that are sketchy anyway because of the early and absentee voting I mentioned above) is not worth the costs.

    The loss of the research data is somewhat regrettable.  But those other factors bear on their worth as well, not even mentioning groups that are likely to respond to exit pollers can often skew the results anyway.

  •  We need public funding of elections. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No Exit, apimomfan2, eps62

    Why should our democracy be a profit center for corporations?

    •  The elections ARE publicly funded (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerry J

      It's public money that pays for the polling places, people to work there, the machines to count the votes, etc. etc.

      It's the advertising that's privately funded -- and frankly I'm not sure I want public funding of that, a major subsidy to private broadcasting entities. It's like the July 4th fireworks; the town pays for the fireworks, the vendors who sell the hot dogs are private.

      Exit polls are not part of the public function -- if they were, we'd have the Census Bureau or someone like that do them. They are designed so that the networks can call the election as soon as the polls close, to make better prime-time television.

      •  no one said anything about a major subsidy... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, eps62

        we've given the f@ckers broadcast licenses, we can make them devote x amount of free time to out political system.

        at this time there is no question our democracy is a profit center for corporations.  that's why they bought it.

        it's time to kick their snouts out of the trough.

        A standing army is like a standing member. It's an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure. Elbridge Gerry - Constitutional Convention (1787)

        by No Exit on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:04:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is off base (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jgumby

          Newspapers do not have broadcast licenses.

          Nor do cable networks.

          For that matter, neither do broadcast networks, except insofar as they own a handful of stations in large markets.

          In any event, it would be counterproductive to force those broadcast stations to subsidize data that would then be pretty much given to their cable counterparts who make money from both advertising and subscriber fees.  It also seems manifestly unfair.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:50:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense, the candidates should not have to turn (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, eps62

        to Fat Cats for cash. In the UK the government pays for TV, in Japan after a number of huge election scandals the government pays per head for campaign expenditures.
        McCain once said that most candidates spend all their time raising money, not reading bills or writing policy.
        No public financing results in massive legal corruption.

  •  Yes, agree with everything. But you are missing (4+ / 0-)

    the sytemic bias in the choice of excluded states. Consider the regional breakdown of omitted states in terms of electoral votes:

    Northeast - 10
    Midwest - 11
    West - 20
    South - 108 (inc. WV)

    Yes - overwhelmingly the south is going to be disproportionately ignored by the exit polls. The omissions in other regions of the country, at least in terms of population, are trivial; but the majority of the south will not have exit polls.

    Furthermore, look at their treatment of blue vs. red states: every one of the 12 leargest blue states will have exit polls. As for red states? Neither of the two largest will have exit polls - the only two states in the top 16 to not have exit polls. In fact, if you count IN, MO and AZ as swing states, none of the ten largest red states will have exit polls.

    Again: the 12 largest blue states WILL have exit polls. The ten largest red states WILL NOT have exit polls.

    I have no idea what their rationale here could possibly have been, but the decision-making process seems just terrible.

    •  But why???...is my question (0+ / 0-)
      •  I don't know. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexasTom

        I don't think it's anything pernicious necessarily. But a typical sort of dismissiveness about the south may have been in play, maybe. Or New York media guys have second homes in Vermont, so they damn well better exit poll that state! sort of thing. Frankly, though, I don't really know.

        •  but if they are basically "calling" the South and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eps62

          thus not needing data (due to "costs'....yeah, right)  then why wouldn't they do the same for California and New York and most of the North ect.

          It makes zero sense.

          •  They probably know some CA/NY Republicans (0+ / 0-)

            but are far less likely to know Democrats in the South other than by stereotypes about Dixiecrats. Not the only time the media has been dismissive of Southerners, especially those that don't match their stereotypes (e.g. white Obama voters or immigrants living in the South).

            Male, 22, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, remorseless supporter of Walker's recall. Pocan for Congress and Baldwin for Senate!

            by fearlessfred14 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:00:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's simple, really.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, eps62

    This is one of the last methods at their disposal by which they can attempt to control the narrative, up to the last moments of Election Night.

    •  Man, that doesn't make a bit of sense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TexasTom, eps62

      Who are "they"? What narrative does this help them control? How does it do so? And did you notice the heavy skew in favor of blue states I noted in the comment above?

      •  "They" are... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the nefarious folks who will swoop down in their black helicopters on election day to steal the election and give it Romney.  Rumor has it that they will roll out of their helicopters on bicycles, wearing conservative business suits.

        Yes, this is snark.  But it's also sad that the junk post you responded to managed to get even one rec.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:54:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's the media narrative - e.g. hype. (0+ / 0-)

          The media wants to prolong the circus.  If they run exit polls across the board, it's too easy to see the overall trend (not to mention counting electoral votes), and that diminishes their ability to "stretch" the story further.

          By reducing the number of states being served with exit polls, the media can crank up the hype on those that remain, presenting them as "big stories" when many of them simply don't merit that level of attention/importance.  Kansas?  Mississippi?  Mark my words, exit polls from those two states will get significant coverage on Election Night, even though we already know that both are more than likely to be double-digit GOP wins.

          THAT'S the narrative they want to promote.

  •  The reason why so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    Many of the states they've chosen are red states is that in 08, 22 states went red and each of those is very likely to go that way again so you have to find other reasons to poll those states. Of those 22 I would say only 7 really provide good reason to be polled. Arizona, Montana, Missouri and North Dakota. Although in Arizona's case I'd also be curious to see some other things as well. Also, Georgia, South Carolina and especially Texas to see demographic shifts. The other 15, I don't see much of a reason. Which includes disagreeing with Steve about WV, a race I don't see much of a possibility of an upset occurring.

    On the blue side, I don't have a problem with any of the 4 states they are omitting. I'd add states, I don't think Vermont needs polling, maybe you poll Maryland because of the gay marriage initiative specifically to see if the theory that's been widely floated that President Obama coming out in favor has changed the view of the African-American community in a significant way on that issue. But if you decided against Maryland, I'd be okay with that. I don't see much of a reason to poll Oregon, I know it has a competitive governor's race and gay marriage initiative but I wouldn't have a huge problem not polling Washington state. I don't think you need to poll Minnesota. And I don't see much of a reason to poll New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Among those 3, the only thing I'd have any interest in is seeing Chris Christie's approval ratings.

    •  You can't exit poll Oregon and Washington (0+ / 0-)

      since they do 100% voting by mail. Many states in the west are moving toward mail voting, so I think exit polls are on the decline in usefulness. Maybe we need exit polls by mail? But that takes away one of their benefits (and the only benefit to the media), that of predicting the winner before the real results are tallied.

      What would be nice is a secure computer voting system. Voters could verify that their vote was correct and counted, and we could glean demographic info from them in aggregate. We are unfortunately a long way away from that.

  •  some ideas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HudsonValleyMark

    First off, how do you exit poll Washington?  I guess you could call people like a traditional poll, but that hardly seems like an 'exit' poll.  Isn't Oregon in the same boat as well[less sure about this]?

    Are some states cheaper to exit poll than others?  Or how does exit polling work.  If 1 pollster is expected to move around to different polling sites throughout the day than you'd want several fairly close polling stations with decent volume.  Is this the case in a state like Wyoming or the Dakotas?  Are some state's voters less willing to talk to exit pollsters?

    If so then there is less value in polling those states perhaps if the results haven't been reliable in the past.

    How fast are official results generally reported in various states, and how does that match up with the list?  I mentioned Oregon above which is notoriously slow reporting results so that might be a good reason to try to keep it.

    I agree that most of the value in the exit polls is after election analysis.  I think they've become reticent to call states within 5% based on exit polls so do they really use the exit polls to call races?  The ones they do seem to be the ones they could call before anyone starts voting.

    •  I was just going to post about that (0+ / 0-)

      Oregon and Washington no longer have polling places. It's really 48 states.

    •  some answers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaso

      In states that have lots of (or only) vote by mail, they can do telephone surveys to supplement or replace the in-person exit polls.

      Are some states cheaper to exit poll than others?  Or how does exit polling work.  If 1 pollster is expected to move around to different polling sites throughout the day than you'd want several fairly close polling stations with decent volume.
      They designate a certain number of precincts (which varies by state) and station interviewers at those precincts pretty much all day long. Probably the main determinant of the cost is how many precincts they select, although I suppose there are variations in what they have to pay.
      Are some state's voters less willing to talk to exit pollsters?
      Yes, but not to the extent that it would affect the cost. In most precincts they aren't trying to interview every voter anyway.
      If so then there is less value in polling those states perhaps if the results haven't been reliable in the past.
      At a glance, I don't think the results have been especially unreliable in these states. But they tend to be small, which reduces their precision.
      How fast are official results generally reported in various states, and how does that match up with the list?  I mentioned Oregon above which is notoriously slow reporting results so that might be a good reason to try to keep it.
      That's a really interesting idea. I doubt it's a major factor, but I don't know.
       I think they've become reticent to call states within 5% based on exit polls so do they really use the exit polls to call races?  The ones they do seem to be the ones they could call before anyone starts voting.
      Yeah, basically they've used the exit poll as a sanity check in those runaway contests. (I've heard that there will still be some "sanity check" polling in these 19 states, but I don't really know at this point.) In other states, they typically use a combination of exit poll results, quick counts from selected precincts (including the exit poll precincts), and whatever other vote counts become available.

      For instance, if the exit poll results show someone winning by more than a few points, and the quick count results from the exit poll precincts indicate that the margin is even larger than that, they may be able to call a state sooner than if they waited for results to trickle in from hither and yon. Of course, that's basically what they tried in Florida in 2000, and it didn't work out so well. They are more careful now.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:44:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Am Glad Texas Does NOT Have An Exit Poll (0+ / 0-)

    The lack of an exit poll in Texas will be a good thing, I think.

    I live in Texas, I hear the voices around me saying that there is a flip coming because of the Hispanic vote.  I also hear the complacency in that forecast.

    Texans just need to work to turn out a Democratic vote now and in ten years.  Work, not depend on hopey changey stuff.  Work.  Give us a Democratic vote now and tomorrow.  We cannot wait on a dream.

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      Hoping for demographic changes in states like Texas and Arizona to do the work instead of trying to convince people why  your sides and policy ideas are better irritates me to no end. And, it really isn't a lock. For this year the Hispanic vote may go 70% or more Dem, but by 2016 with all the pandering that is to be happen who knows. People here are always going on about how the public has a bad attention span and memories. I don't understand how they don't include Hispanics in that equation.

      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

      by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:31:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "the exclusion of Texas is an enormous error" (0+ / 0-)

        Yes, we here in the Lone Star state need to work.  But, just how close are we, demographic shifts and work aside?  We have to measure any changes, and frankly, fire up Dems. to work harder, and put some fear in the hearts of the GoOPers.

        I have griped that there have been nearly no polls on anything.  The last one I saw was last week from the Texas Lyceum, and before that it was during the GOP primaries.  Nothing in between.

        We needsome mileage markers to understand how (fast) things are changing.

        Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

        by tom 47 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:40:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    ....that exit poll data is full of facts.  Facts have a well known liberal bias.  So it had to go in the interest of balanced journalism.

  •  Exit polls here are a complete outrage, really (0+ / 0-)

    One of so many outrages where nothing is ever done.

    Well, OK, something has been done. The situation has now gotten worse.

    Exit polls in America aren't really exit polls in a meaningful way. For the final released version, they just cook the numbers to agree with the election results.

    Among other problems, people relying on demographics in past exit polls are relying on demographics wildly swung to get the final result to work.  

  •  My best guess is... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the NEP has become a tool of GOP and thus has taken on the strategy of less not more information to potential voters is a good thing for (GOP) and the rest of us can "eat cake".

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:12:11 AM PDT

  •  Hmm. Then there's the corruption angle (0+ / 0-)

    One of the first things I noticed was the presence of several states known for their corruption on this list:

    Back in 2008, Talking Points Memo Memo had an article about the most corrupt states. These included Alaska, Louisiana, Rhode Island, & a few other states not on this list (Illinois, New York, Massachusetts).

    Then earlier this year the Center for Public Integrity carried out a survey, & found the eight most corrupt states were Michigan, the Dakotas, South Carolina, Maine, Virginia, Georgia, and Wyoming -- five of which were on this list.

    I don't know if this indicates a trend, but some of these states definitely are target-rich environments for investigative reporting tools such as exit polls.

  •  i don't know (0+ / 0-)

    the reason but the consequences for shenanigans to happen make this more likely and just saving money seems like a lame excuse.

  •  Purposely not gathering data makes the data (0+ / 0-)

    less important, useful, or recognized than the networks' own spin on things.

    The less hard data available to discuss, the more we must rely upon the opinions and reporting of the talking heads at each corporate-owned network.

    In other words, the states will have voted the way they did for the reasons the networks wish to tell us, without facts being able to examine the truthfulness or truthiness of their statements.

    Saving money? Yeah.  Obscuring movements in the political landscape?  Of course.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:58:06 AM PDT

  •  No exit polls, no polls (0+ / 0-)

    Washington and Oregon are vote by mail states. No polling places. No exit polls.

    And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

    by mrobinson on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

  •  We have had "W" and Perry as governors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62

    It is hard to believe Bush is considered to be the smart one.

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 12:11:22 PM PDT

  •  Sigh. (4+ / 0-)

    Well, reading this thread is a good reminder that liberals are every bit as prone to knee-jerk conspiracy theorizing as are republicans.

    That's too bad.

  •  Exit polls are pretty much the *only* (0+ / 0-)

    way to provide an objective plausibility metric for an official election outcome short of hand-counting ballots and having people testify to theirs.

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:23:54 PM PDT

    •  OK, so I'll ask again (0+ / 0-)

      The 2004 exit polls showed Kerry winning Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania by 14-15 points each ("Best Geo" estimates).

      Do you believe that (even approximately), and do you expect other people to believe it?

      If you can't answer yes to both barrels of that question, then how do you figure that exit polls provide an "objective plausibility metric"?

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:47:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know you're our resident election fraud denier (0+ / 0-)

        who only seems to pop up when someone dares to consider what common sense, Occam's Razor, and the blatant behavior of Republicans already indicates, but you might just think about expanding your horizons to other subjects.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 03:50:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Viability of Exit Polls with so much early voting? (0+ / 0-)

    I question the value and the reliability of exit polls in a day and age when so many voters (myself included) have already voted, and will not be exiting any polling place on November 6th.

    http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e236/BBob218/bob.gif

    by BBobMI on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 04:55:11 PM PDT

    •  they're combined with phone interviews (0+ / 0-)

      From the story linked in the diary:

      This year, exit pollsters are set to carry out phone polls in 15 states, about half of all states covered, and increase the sample sizes of those polls by 32 percent, according to Merkle. Moreover, the continued rise in the number of voters using cellphones also bumps up the price of phone surveys, another challenge motivating the changes for 2012.
      So, basically they're shifting resources from exit polls in noncompetitive states to phone interviews in competitive states with lots of early voting.

      The exit polls never were a truth machine, but I generally prefer more information to less information.

      Election protection: there's an app for that!
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 05:18:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Point 3 (0+ / 0-)

    Is, to my mind, by far the most important one. I'd have put it right at the top.

  •  Dwindling resources? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously? These networks raked in a couple billion in election related advertising dollars in the last few months alone. They haven't got any dwindling resources. Let's be serious.

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