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> Big change in Election Day exit polling, 19 states will be excluded this election
akaCG
post Oct 6 2012, 07:29 PM
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QUOTE
...
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.
...
Voters in the excluded states will still be interviewed as part of a national exit poll, but state-level estimates of the partisan, age or racial makeups of electorates won’t be available as they have been since 1992. ...
...
Here is a list of the states that will be excluded from coverage: 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.

Comparing this list with the election map, reveals how carefully the exit poll planners allocated resources. All 19 of the states with no exit polls are classified as either “solid Obama” or “solid Romney,” ...
...

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fi...s-in-19-states/

NOTE: here's a basic primer on exit polls from the National Election Pool FAQ page: http://www.edisonresearch.com/exit_poll_faq.php

Unless something really dramatic happens, the states that are currently solid-Obama and solid-Romney will remain that way. And, if history is any guide, they'll be declared pretty shortly after the polls close in their particular time zone, while voters in states in the next time zone(s) are still heading to the polls/standing in line to vote.

With all of the above in mind, ...

Here are the "solid" Eastern Time Zone states where exit polls will still be conducted on Election Day (each state's Electoral College Vote number in parentheses):

Solid-Obama: Connecticut (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Vermont (3) ---> Total: 78 ECVs.

Solid-Romney: None.

Likely development: There will be 78 Electoral College Votes in the Obama column and none in the Romney column while people in the toss-up (Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin) states and parts-of-states (Florida Panhandle), as well as in Obama-leaning (New Mexico) and Romney-leaning (Arizona, Missouri) states are still voting.

Next, here are the Central Time Zone states where exit polls will still be conducted on Election Day (each state's EC Vote in parentheses):

Solid-Obama: Illinois (20), Minnesota (10) ---> Total ECVs: 30.
Solid-Romney: Alabama (9), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Mississippi (6) ---> Total ECVs: 32

Likely development: There will be 108 ECVs in the Obama column and only 32 ECVs in the Romney column while people in the remaining toss-up (Colorado, Nevada), Obama-leaning (New Mexico) and Romney-leaning (Arizona) states are still voting.

Onto the debate questions.

1.
If the purpose of this new exit poll approach is to reduce costs by not conducting exit polls in "solid" (i.e. where the outcome is pretty much a foregone conclusion) states, does it makes sense to forego exit polls in all of the Eastern Time Zone solid-Romney states (total population: about 27 million) while still conducting them in 7 out of the 10 Eastern Time Zone solid-Obama states, such as New York and New Jersey (total population: about ... 27 million)? Why or why not?

2.
Will this new exit poll approach affect voters' behavior in the aforementioned still-voting toss-up and leaning states? If so, in what way(s)?


This post has been edited by akaCG: Oct 6 2012, 07:30 PM
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Curmudgeon
post Oct 7 2012, 01:28 AM
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Prediction: Less than an hour after the polls open, a small village in New England will close the polls because 100% of their voters have turned out, and the poll workers want to go to the nearest bar with a fireplace. The fifty votes cast there will be discussed for the next 12 hours...

I'm certain that if the Republican Party wanted to have exit poll results from "uncontested states" released before the polls closed in Hawaii that someone in the party would find the money to do the exit polling and release the results. But, this is the party whose current flag bearer likes to fire people. (PLAN A: Ask donors for money to buy the Election. PLAN B: Hold on tightly to that money. Why would he need a PLAN C?) The Republican Party back room people have likely seen the same data the rest of us have, and are soon going to be putting their resources into keeping control of the Congress. As Election Day nears, I look for a diminishing investment in ads for Mr. Romney. (There is an old axiom, "Don't throw good money after bad.")

Unemployment figures have dropped as Wal-Mart (the nation's second largest employer) put on seasonal employees to prepare for "Black Friday." Republican reaction has been that the numbers must have been manipulated to make Obama look good. (The monthly report came from the usual source, but in October it is somehow a surprise that trends have continued, and that merchants are looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, "Black Friday," and Christmas.) Yes Mitt, the hoi polloi celebrate Christmas every year, even if they can't afford a trip to Bermuda or Switzerland to bank their spare millions...

I don't really recall how early exit poll results were released in 2004 because I was in a locked room until the wee hours of Wednesday with no access to any method of communication with the outside world, learning first hand to trust the way that absentee ballots are handled and counted.

Four years ago, I seem to recall that no exit poll results were released until the polls had closed in Hawaii; but that may have been the network that I was watching at the Democratic Party party...

To be perfectly honest, I think that it would be very nice if networks withheld exit polling results until all Election Results were actually counted. I heard an analysis the other day that said that on Election Day 2000, FOX News was the first network to declare George W. Bush a winner in Florida, and at that, it was a relative of George that called the result. The rest of the networks, fearing a scoop by FOX News capitulated the Election to George within a few minutes. The Supreme Court still had to rule of course, but... I'm not going to bother to locate a link as Concast has told us that they own MSNBC, so that is most likely the news station we were listening to.

We cast our votes a few days ago by absentee ballots, filled out in the comfort of our own home with the ability to use the Internet to look at the arguments for and against ballot issues, the arguments of supporters for judges, etc. I have always gone to the polls with a clear idea of who I was voting for. I do not have any idea why anyone would watch television, find out who had been declared the winner, and then go and vote knowing that s/he could always say:

"I voted for the winner." or "I told you so. I voted for the person who lost and would have done a better job."

I have to suspect that people with such ephemeral views would likely balance each other out and have no real impact on the Election. According to Nate Silver, at this date Alaska (3 Electoral College votes) has a 99.5% chance of supporting Romney and Hawaii (4 Electoral College votes) has a 100% chance of supporting Obama. I am so certain the odds of either one of those states having a different outcome because of a single voter (or a few hundred voters) being influenced by Election Day exit polls on Election Day are really miniscule that I'm not going to bother to pull out my abacus and compute them. Nevada currently has an 8.5% chance of tipping the Election results. Colorado currently has a 3.7% chance of tipping the Election results. Both are already leaning towards Romney. The balance of the "swing states" for this Election cycle are in the Eastern and Central Time zones.That means voters in a few swing states in the Central Time Zone might hear projections between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM and say, "Maybe my one vote could make a difference. Honey, could you get me a beer?"
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akaCG
post Oct 7 2012, 02:17 AM
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QUOTE(Curmudgeon @ Oct 6 2012, 09:28 PM) *
Prediction: Less than an hour after the polls open, a small village in New England will close the polls because 100% of their voters have turned out, and the poll workers want to go to the nearest bar with a fireplace. The fifty votes cast there will be discussed for the next 12 hours...

I'm certain that if the Republican Party wanted to have exit poll results from "uncontested states" released before the polls closed in Hawaii that someone in the party would find the money to do the exit polling and release the results. But, this is the party whose current flag bearer likes to fire people. (PLAN A: Ask donors for money to buy the Election. PLAN B: Hold on tightly to that money. Why would he need a PLAN C?) The Republican Party back room people have likely seen the same data the rest of us have, and are soon going to be putting their resources into keeping control of the Congress. As Election Day nears, I look for a diminishing investment in ads for Mr. Romney. (There is an old axiom, "Don't throw good money after bad.")

Unemployment figures have dropped as Wal-Mart (the nation's second largest employer) put on seasonal employees to prepare for "Black Friday." Republican reaction has been that the numbers must have been manipulated to make Obama look good. (The monthly report came from the usual source, but in October it is somehow a surprise that trends have continued, and that merchants are looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, "Black Friday," and Christmas.) Yes Mitt, the hoi polloi celebrate Christmas every year, even if they can't afford a trip to Bermuda or Switzerland to bank their spare millions...

I don't really recall how early exit poll results were released in 2004 because I was in a locked room until the wee hours of Wednesday with no access to any method of communication with the outside world, learning first hand to trust the way that absentee ballots are handled and counted.

Four years ago, I seem to recall that no exit poll results were released until the polls had closed in Hawaii; but that may have been the network that I was watching at the Democratic Party party...

To be perfectly honest, I think that it would be very nice if networks withheld exit polling results until all Election Results were actually counted. I heard an analysis the other day that said that on Election Day 2000, FOX News was the first network to declare George W. Bush a winner in Florida, and at that, it was a relative of George that called the result. The rest of the networks, fearing a scoop by FOX News capitulated the Election to George within a few minutes. The Supreme Court still had to rule of course, but... I'm not going to bother to locate a link as Concast has told us that they own MSNBC, so that is most likely the news station we were listening to.

We cast our votes a few days ago by absentee ballots, filled out in the comfort of our own home with the ability to use the Internet to look at the arguments for and against ballot issues, the arguments of supporters for judges, etc. I have always gone to the polls with a clear idea of who I was voting for. I do not have any idea why anyone would watch television, find out who had been declared the winner, and then go and vote knowing that s/he could always say:

"I voted for the winner." or "I told you so. I voted for the person who lost and would have done a better job."

I have to suspect that people with such ephemeral views would likely balance each other out and have no real impact on the Election. According to Nate Silver, at this date Alaska (3 Electoral College votes) has a 99.5% chance of supporting Romney and Hawaii (4 Electoral College votes) has a 100% chance of supporting Obama. I am so certain the odds of either one of those states having a different outcome because of a single voter (or a few hundred voters) being influenced by Election Day exit polls on Election Day are really miniscule that I'm not going to bother to pull out my abacus and compute them. Nevada currently has an 8.5% chance of tipping the Election results. Colorado currently has a 3.7% chance of tipping the Election results. Both are already leaning towards Romney. The balance of the "swing states" for this Election cycle are in the Eastern and Central Time zones.That means voters in a few swing states in the Central Time Zone might hear projections between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM and say, "Maybe my one vote could make a difference. Honey, could you get me a beer?"

If one were to sit across from you at your favorite Muskegon, Michigan breakfast/coffee place for no more and no less than a tolerably (to you) long enough period of time while maintaining no more and no less than a tolebrably (to you) amount of eye contact, and ask you ...

"Which bit(s) of your response above do you think have anything to do with the debate question(s), and which bit(s) of your response above do you think are just about your own self-indulgent penchance to engage in stream-of-consciousness rhetorical meanderings," ...

... your answer would be ...?

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Curmudgeon
post Oct 7 2012, 03:18 AM
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One) It is not necessary to quote my entire post when it is the only post to reply to.

[Two) Tolerable eye contact?

Three) On Election Day, I will likely be nowhere near Muskegon, but feel free to search all the local restaurants that serve breakfast.

Four) "My favorite breakfast restaurant" is one that serves breakfast. I began eating breakfast out in 1964, and my first wife felt that it was an unhealthy meal!

QUOTE
Which bit(s) of your response above do you think have anything to do with the debate question(s), and which bit(s) of your response above do you think are just about your own self-indulgent penchance (sic) to engage in stream-of-consciousness rhetorical meanderings...

Five) You pointed out that the outcome of this election was so predeterrmined that networks were not going to waste money taking exit polls in the states where the outcome was predeterrmined.

I tried to state, as concisely as I am able that this Election process has been ongoing for nearly four years, and I interpreted your question to be, "Will exit polls affect voter's decisions in still-voting toss-up states?

I personally cannot envision that such a large number of undecided voters will reach Election Day so totally undecided that they wait for the exit polls from Ohio to decide how they will vote in Colorado...and still take the effort to go to the polls and vote, and have any impact on the outcome...

This post has been edited by Curmudgeon: Oct 7 2012, 03:23 AM
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Paladin Elspeth
post Oct 7 2012, 03:38 AM
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akaCG: My suggestion is that if you don't like Curmudgeon's style of posts, ignore them. This comes from someone who knows he's a raconteur at heart and who has listened to him for 25+ years. thumbsup.gif You're not going to change him.

I don't know about this whole "reducing costs" thing related to your question. As it has been, there is a lot of redundancy in reporting election night news.

It might actually be better for people in Hawaii if they don't hear about exit polls in every single state east of them. I am sure that many voters have been unhappy with Presidential candidates who have conceded elections before they've finished voting.

The upshot of the thing is that voters will be less aware of how other people have voted elsewhere. That's not a bad thing, unless you think that the way other people have voted SHOULD affect the decision of people waiting to vote. If people want to vote for "the winner" regardless of his (this time) positions and policies, then maybe it's relevant. But if a voter's choice is deeper than that (i.e., considering the consequences to the country and not just bragging rights at work or at the bar), the reported choices of other voters shouldn't matter all that much.

This whole election cycle has been about lopsidedness of one sort or another. I'm not sure that the outcome itself should be so dependent upon the selective reporting, except in the case where a candidate concedes before the whole country has gotten a chance to vote.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Oct 7 2012, 03:40 AM
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droop224
post Oct 7 2012, 10:13 AM
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Weird, I voted for Obama in Indiana last presidential election. For the first time in a while indiana went blue for presidency. There was a lot of excitement that year. The 4 years before that I voted for Kerry against Bush and Bush had indiana an hour after poll closed. I wonder why Indiana is considered solidly Romney this time around..

What determines what is solidly a Blue or Red State?
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 7 2012, 11:09 AM
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1.
If the purpose of this new exit poll approach is to reduce costs by not conducting exit polls in "solid" (i.e. where the outcome is pretty much a foregone conclusion) states, does it makes sense to forego exit polls in all of the Eastern Time Zone solid-Romney states (total population: about 27 million) while still conducting them in 7 out of the 10 Eastern Time Zone solid-Obama states, such as New York and New Jersey (total population: about ... 27 million)? Why or why not?

2.
Will this new exit poll approach affect voters' behavior in the aforementioned still-voting toss-up and leaning states? If so, in what way(s)?


If voters are smart, they'll take advantage of early voting, and especially the mail-in ballot if supported in their respective counties. This makes exit polling irrelevant. It also does away with the argument that the early calling of results impacts people's decisions on whether to vote at all and for whom their bells toll.

At some point voting will become a Web application available 24x7 for a period of weeks before Election Day. People will vote via their smart phones, iPads and so on. Government IT people will make sure everything is as it should be for security. There won't be any funny tricks done at physical voting locations, and if people don't have the tech, the public libraries will accommodate them.

It appears that the smart money isn't going toward collecting stats that nobody cares about except talking heads trying to stay employed. But of course, this has to be a big conspiracy to rig the election for Obama. It's almost as if there's an overt effort to limit who can vote via state laws and crooked registration drives!

Except there's real evidence for the latter, done by Republicans, and none for the former accusations from Republicans.

Basically, the world has changed dramatically over twenty years. In 1992 the Internet was still known only among a small crowd of college and IT people. The Web wouldn't be started until a year later, and then nobody would know about it for years to come, other than the even smaller crowd of interested nerds. In 1992, the fastest commercial modems were running 56kbs. The Internet backbones were still being built out. As far as I knew, only Xerox had a worldwide commercial network, and that wasn't for public use.

I suppose back then exit polling made sense. Today, not so much.

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Curmudgeon
post Oct 7 2012, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 7 2012, 06:13 AM) *
What determines what is solidly a Blue or Red State?

A very intelligent question.

Both major political parties, and likely the "third" party organizations as well place phone calls, walk door to door to "knock" on doors and ask people how they intend to vote. These are referred to as "internal polls." On any given day, a candidate has a good idea of where their message has gotten out and who they need to get out on Election Day, and what church, restaurant, bar, civic center, etc. would be the best place to try to stir up a little last minute support on the night before the Election.

Online polls are conducted in popup ads on the Internet, and someone here will likely start a poll in early November.

Internet Spiders compete with each other to see how many favorable and unfavorable reactions are posted on the Internet.

Many private polling companies pay workers to work the telephones and ask people a number of questions such as age, race, gender, religion, and finally who they intend to vote for. These polling results are sold to news agencies and political parties alike. Both akaCG and I have links in previous posts in this thread to Nate Silver's FIVE THIRTY EIGHT blog. His computers run something like 30,000 simulations a day based on published (and likely unpublished) polling results to determine, "If the Election were held today, who would win in which states?"

All of the above are polls of "likely voters." (Who have the right to tell the pollster a lie, a complete lie, which has nothing to do with their actual plans, etc.; and they will not be charged with perjury. op.cit. Margin of Error. )

A few months ago, Michigan was a "swing state." The last I looked, Michigan was about 95% certain to vote for Obama. Two years ago, this state voted nearly straight Republican, and early prognostication was that since this was "Romney's home state," that he would be a "favorite son" candidate. It's still a month until the election, and while I am hopeful, I doubt very much that Willard has a first draft of his concession speech in his suitcoat's inside pocket. (I look for him to be the candidate that pulls out an envelope and says, "I would have written this concession speech on the front of an envelope, but I'm a fiscally conservative businessman; so I wrote it on the back of an envelope that was addressed to me to save money.")

On Election Day, exit polls will be conducted of voters leaving the polls in precincts that are likely to reflect the decisions of previously "undecided voters." Those polled are under no legal obligation to reveal to the pollsters who they are or how they actually voted.

ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, REUTERS, UPI etc. monitor the polls, and the analyses of the polls and try to predict the outcome of the Election because "Inquiring Minds want to know." and because they are more likely to increase their reported number of viewers by reporting the news first than by reporting it accurately.

In the meantime, on Election Day, the polls do not "close" until 8:00 PM. As Election challengers, PE and I have been witnesses to the closing process in several elections. At 8:00 PM, a Precinct Worker walks to the back of the line, announces that the polls are closed, but that anyone still standing in line has the right to vote. That person remains at the back of the line to turn away anyone arriving after 8:00 PM, and to lock the door behind himself only after the last voter has entered the polling location. During the day, voters who arrived without necessary identification have been allowed to cast a provisional ballot and bring back proof that they were eligible to vote. Persons who intended to vote absentee, but who failed to get their ballots returned before Election Day may still turn in their absentee ballots at their precinct up until the polls are closed. After the last voter has left, the voting machines print Election Results on a paper tape in Michigan. A representative of each political party is given a copy of that paper tape, and a copy is hand delivered by the Precinct Captain to the City and County Clerk's Office. A locked box containing the absentee and provisional ballots from each precinct is then hand delivered to the County Courthouse.

Eight years ago, I turned up at a Democratic Headquarters on Election Day in Traverse City, expecting to handle incoming calls from people who needed transportation to their polling place. (This is a service both major parties provide.) I was asked to be a witness to the counting of the absentee and provisional ballots. When I agreed, I was taken by a police officer to the County Courthouse where ALL of my personal belongings were sealed in an envelope and I was locked in a room with other witnesses from both parties. We were sworn in as Election Officials, and then not allowed to discuss any aspect of the Election process. At 8:00 PM, we were seated in a locked room until all of the absentee and provisional ballots had been delivered. One at a time, the absentee and provisional ballot envelopes were read aloud to us, and a Republican counterpart tried to challenge every single ballot. After four or five "challenges" from him, I asked aloud what absentee voter might cause the poll workers to have doubts. Their response stopped the challenges and the process continued. The last ballot was read by the scanner, if memory is correct, about 1:00 AM on the day following the Election. Yes, the County Clerk had all of the results on tapes, but certified results would not be released until after the beginning of business on Wednesday.

By the time I got back to the Hotel where we were staying, the concession speech and the victory speech had both been delivered, but the Secretary of State's Office had no official results available until after the business day began several hours later.

QUOTE
In most states, the slate of electors that gets the most votes wins and gets to travel to the state capital in December to vote for president and vice president. ( random link )

Thus, our ballots are cast and counted, but the polling before and on Election Day predict an outcome long before the actual votes are tallied. We actually elect Electors to the Electoral College, and they cast their votes a month later, and only after they have been certified as the winners.

By most accounts, Barack Obama's run for President began over eight years ago when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and Mitt Romney has been running for President for five years at this point. I can turn on the television or the Internet at any time of the day or night and learn about the latest poll results, the latest gaffes, the latest news that might impact a decision, etc. I really do not support the belief that an undecided voter in Hawaii on Election Day is going to wait until after a concession speech has been made to make up their mind who to vote for...and then head to their polling place to stand in line for two hours to vote. Once you are in line at your polling place, you are not allowed to try to influence other voters.

op.cit. ORIGIN OF RED STATES, BLUE STATES

This post has been edited by Curmudgeon: Oct 7 2012, 01:46 PM
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