Intermarkets' Privacy Policy

Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!

Recent Entries
Absent Friends
Bandersnatch 2024
GnuBreed 2024
Captain Hate 2023
moon_over_vermont 2023
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info:
maildrop62 at proton dot me
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups

Lost in the Celebration: Bobby Jindal Finally Won | Main | I Loves Me Some Blogads
November 04, 2004

On the Exit Poll Debacle

Powerline Blog indulges a reader's conspiracy theory, and then knocks it down to some extent.

Here's what I have heard and what I think.

1. The polling company itself isn't necessarily dirty. Even assuming that there was some underhanded activity going on here, the polling company itself isn't necessarily the bad guy. It only takes one rogue employee to leak something-- remember Bush's debate-prep tape?

The polling company defends itself by noting that they didn't release the data themselves, and furthermore, that the data was actually correct, in the sense that those were the numbers they had-- the numbers, it just turned out, were utterly unrepresentative of the actual situation.

2. But there is good reason to suspect skullduggery. Dick Morris has of course already suggested that the numbers were "juiced" by someone, somewhere. How? The theory he offered that makes the most sense is that someone in the polling outfit leaked to the Kerry campaign which precincts would be subject to exit interviews, and then the Kerry camp (or someone in it) flooded those polling places with plants who would just walk in to the polls, then walk out, then fill out the card claiming they'd voted for Kerry (which they had not, that not being their actual polling place).

Now, there may be some doubts about Dick Morris' reliability, but there are few doubts about Michael Barrone's, and yesterday on Special Report with Brit Hume he suggested the same theory-- and while he didn't, I think, say he suspected an attempt to defraud the poll, he didn't seem to think it was something that could be dismissed out of hand. Apparently this has been done before-- he had a bit of polling jargon to describe the practice: "slamming" the exit polls.

Morris is very insistent that exit polls are the most accurate of all polls, and that it's very unlikely they could be this far off absent conscious design by someone, somewhere.

3. The exit polls have been shown to be utter rubbish, and yet the Democrats and their liberal media Spirit Squad are still quoting from them. The numbers were simply bad-- they showed a coming landslide for Kerry, which was just not what happened. So if the numbers were off on the head-to-head horserace, why are liberals continuing to cite the erroneous polls for the non-horserace data?

How can they keep claiming that based on the polls, at least, the American people are disatisfied with the war in Iraq or the economy? The polls are wrong, guys; you've admitted it. So you can't use them for any purpose. They were unrepresentative and possibly tampered with for all questions, not just Kerry versus Bush.

So knock it off.

Other polls indicate the American people have doubts about Iraq and the economy. Fine-- cite those. But stop pretending that the exit polls can be relied upon to answer these questions.

4. The liberal media is using this fiasco as an attack on blogs. And to some extent, they've got a point-- a bit of one, at least. It was the blogworld that actually reported the data to the public. I don't know who leaked, but it's likely that Kerry partisans leaked to bloggers in order to depress Republican turnout.

To defend some bloggers -- including myself -- conservative bloggers immediately and forcefully reported that the data was likely erroneous when we learned that the male/female split was 41-59. So, yes, we got it wrong, but then we corrected.

At least some of us did. Which brings me to the real villain of this story.

5. William Saletan, of the amateur leftist webzine Slate, published the faulty data, but then never reported that the data was likely erronoeous. Why?

Drudge posted the faulty data; but then he splashed cold water on the numbers by reporting the hinky male/female split. He also reported how badly off the 2000 exit polls had been.

So did NRO, both in the Corner and at KerrySpot.

So did I, for that matter.

William Saletan never did. At least, not that I saw, and not until all the polls in the country had pretty much closed, and the media was ready to start calling states for Bush.

Not nearly good enough, Saletan.

Curious. After making a big statement about how the public needed to be informed as fully as possible, he then withheld information that he obviously had (it's ludicrous that no one in the RNC emailed him, or that he never checked Drudge). Withheld it from the public he claimed he felt such a responsibility to inform fully.


He will claim that he offered caveats about exit polls earlier in the day, and said that such data do not necessarily forecast a winner. But a general caveat is generally unheeded. When he had specific information that the data was almost certainly wrong, why did he offer no specific caveats as he gleefully continued reporting a Kerry sweep?

Having put wrong information out there, didn't he feel a particular need to debunk his own false reportage?

I don't know why he never saw fit to enlighten his readers. I could guess that, like his comrades in the MSM, perhaps he was so depressed he couldn't bring himself to write the hateful words Kerry might not win; you can't trust these numbers. Which says a lot about media reliability, right there. They want to believe what they want to believe, and, worse yet, they want you to also believe what they want to believe.

But it might be worse still. I can't help suspecting that Saletan wasn't especially upset by the thought that the numbers he was publishing -- numbers he had to know by 5:00 were probably bad -- were helping to depress Republican turnout. Whether those numbers were right or wrong.

Jack Shafer offers some uninteresting musings on the subject, but never even hints at why Slate's exit-poll go-to guy was so blithe about warning his readers that there was specific reason to doubt the numbers he had been reporting all day long.

Until Saletan explains himself, I will continue to have suspicions.

I should repeat that fairly late at night, Saletan did express his belief that Kerry might lose. I can't be more specific than "fairly late," because that part of Saletan's blogging no longer is part of the article. The updates stop at four o'clock or five or so now. Certainly I recall nothing about wildly unrepresentative sampling.

If I recall correctly, however, he began his post expressing the possibility of a Kerry loss thus:

I hate writing this, but...

I'll say, William.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:22 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
Huck Follywood: "Wait, what? Posted by: Moron Robbie - FIGHT FIGHT ..."

Moron Robbie - FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT: "I don't know about this JJ guy. He seems pretty l ..."

Anna Puma: "Baby can't you see, Yoyomi covering [i]Toxic[/i] ..."

rhennigantx: "The agency has sacrificed its basic mission on the ..."

J.J. Sefton: "56 JJ, just know the Horde has your back and are r ..."

Anna Puma: "JJ, just know the Horde has your back and are root ..."

Moron Robbie - FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT: " and even sent a photograph of him 26 minutes befo ..."

Biden's Dog sniffs a whole lotta malarkey, : "Proudly registered for my absentee voting ballot. ..."

rhennigantx: "Reuters - "After Trump shooting, his supporters st ..."

Moron Robbie - FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT: "Reuters - "After Trump shooting, his supporters st ..."

Lizzy[/i]: ">>Reuters - "After Trump shooting, his supporters ..."

Biden's Dog sniffs a whole lotta malarkey, : "At least Trump picked somebody that wasn't 85 year ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64