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Monday, November 22, 2004

Exit pollster paranoia?

skippy the bush kangaroo provides an interesting anecdote about an accidental encounter with an old friend...who happens to have been an exit poll worker in the 2004 election. Here's the juicy part, which ought to feed any lingering paranoia about the result:
"don't blame us," he said. "we were right."

this piqued our interest. we talked further with our friend, who assured us that all the polling data pointed to a kerry victory. "we had kerry winning or tying in all battleground states except west virginia," he said.

our friend went on to point out that he worked for edison/mitofsky, whose polling data had never been wrong before. and, he said, the only counties in which the data they collected under-represented awol's votes were the counties in which diebold voting machines were used.

"quite a coincidence, eh?" he said.
The early recount results in New Hampshire don't suggest that anything was amiss there, but they are still far from finished. It is taking longer than expected to do the new count.

Ohio will also be recounted, but apparently not until the vote is certified. That won't happen until the absentee and provisional ballots are totaled. In short, any recount will have to occur in December. The Electoral College vote is supposed to occur by December 12.

Since I'm talking about the election, let me clarify one point I made last week in a post called "2004 Election: Behind the Numbers." I wrote:
Where Kerry did not campaign, the President racked up huge vote margins. I've now listed 10 states with significant Bush movement and found 2.6 million of his 3.6 million victory margin in the popular vote.

Remove the 5 [swing] states that were virtually tied and that means the other 35 states explain only 1 million of the 3.6 million margin of victory for the President.
I did not mean to imply that the rest of the country was tied state-by-state. There were still some big Bush margins and some big Kerry margins in the other 35 states. What mattered is that these states didn't change that much from 2000 and that Kerry made virtually no effort to influence the results there since the states were not really in play.

I agree with Bruce Reed. The Dems need to run a truly national campaign to avoid a popular vote disaster and to make Democratic House and Senate candidates more competitive.

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