the wonderful world of polls
January 19, 2004 9:44 PM   Subscribe

Exit polls are back from the dead. After a total failure in both the 2000 and 2002, exit polls return to the national election scene, with the Iowa caucus exit poll results (PDF). But can the new team overcome the strong distrust of the previous organization?
posted by calwatch (7 comments total)
The exit polls were accurate in the 2000 national election. The total failure was cronyism in the election system.
posted by nofundy at 4:52 AM on January 20, 2004

Given the unorthodox format of the caucus system, I don't think that Iowa is a legitimate litmus test for the accuracy of exit polls. They're a lot more "open", and I would think it would be much easier to get an accurate count from a caucus than from a secret-ballot primary.
posted by jpoulos at 5:51 AM on January 20, 2004

One thing to note about these exit polls: they are issue polls, not "who did you vote for" polls. Given the nature of the caucus (everyone at a location finishes at the same time, vs. the day-long trickle of finishers you get at polls), and the Iowa Democratic Party's new real-time reporting system, there was no need to ask the "Who did you vote for" question. When a caucus closed, the host called the state party HQ who input the results into the computer, and the aggregate official results were available to everyone real-time.
posted by ewagoner at 6:14 AM on January 20, 2004

"This scenario did not originate in my imagination. The authors of Votescam, The Stealing of America, James and Kenneth Collier (both deceased) chronicled vote rigging from 1970 to 1992, that followed a similar scheme. The Colliers also included government officials, such as employees of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), as players in this decades-old scam. Media critics have long complained about an unethical relationship between the CIA and the news networks." (From linked Lynn Landes article).....This article would have been strengthened, perhaps, by references to project MOCKINGBIRD.

"Starting in the early days of the Cold War (late 40's), the CIA began a secret project called Operation Mockingbird, with the intent of buying influence behind the scenes at major media outlets and putting reporters on the CIA payroll"

"It is beginning to dawn on a growing number of armchair ombudsmen that the public print reports news from a parallel universe - one that has never heard of politically-motivated assassinations, CIA-Mafia banking thefts, mind control, death squads or even federal agencies with secret budgets fattened by cocaine sales - a place overrun by lone gunmen, where the CIA and Mafia are usually on their best behavior. In this idyllic land, the most serious infraction an official can commit is the employment of a domestic servant with (shudder) no residency status.

This unlikely land of enchantment is the creation of MOCKINGBIRD.

It was conceived in the late 1940s, the most frigid period of the cold war, when the CIA began a systematic infiltration of the corporate media, a process that often included direct takeover of major news outlets."
posted by troutfishing at 6:44 AM on January 20, 2004


Meanwhile - What would be so terrible about a federally funded independent exit polling agency? Exit polling seems important as a check on election fraud, provided that the exit polling is not itself a part of that fraud.
posted by troutfishing at 6:47 AM on January 20, 2004

Also (new!) - MockingbirdFilter
posted by troutfishing at 7:46 AM on January 20, 2004

I wonder: is there any correlation between recent "failures" of exit polls to reflect actual outcomes and the use of Diebold voting machines? Perhaps it's not the exit polls that are suspect.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:51 AM on January 21, 2004

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