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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-04 09:32 AM
Original message

By Doug Halonen,

After early exit polls in Tuesday's election inaccurately suggested that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry would trounce President Bush, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie is recommending that major news organizations pull the plug on the prognostications.


He also said he was personally affected by the early reports, discouraged by what he was seeing. "But I've been through this before," he said. "In 2000 the exit data was wrong on Election Day. In 2002, the exit returns were wrong on Election Day. And in 2004, the exit data were wrong on Election Day -- all three times, by the way, in a way that skewed against Republicans and had a dispiriting effect on Republican voters across the country."

Gillespie's implication that the final tally was correct, but the exit polls were wrong implies that our voting process is flawless and the people building our voting machines are nonpartisan and only interested in seeing a fair election.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the seriousness of the widespread problems we have with our voting systems or the highly compromised partisans running our voting machine companies knows a truly fair election is not possible.

Why would the GOP want to eliminate exit polls? Because it's the last semi-independent check of an election's accuracy and the only way to quickly determine if the votes cast for a candidate match those counted by the machines.

Sheldon Drobny: "There's a huge difference between polling what WILL happen and polling something that has already happened. The reliability of polling something that has already happened is highly reliable vs. predictive polls, like Gallup or Zogby, which is very risky. The reliability can be, not plus or minus 4 percent as we see with predictive polls, but rather a much more reliable plus or minus one half or one tenth of one percent with exit polls, because those are based on asking people who already voted. I would even say that if the exit polling were done in the key precincts of Florida and Ohio, which it was, then these results should be practically "bullet proof.'"

If the GOP eliminates exit polls before true verifiable voting is in place, there will be nothing left to warn us when our vote is stolen.

Lastly, note that Gillespie only refers to the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections -- all the major elections since George W. Bush dropped onto the national political scene -- as "being skewed against Republicans." There is a very good reason the exit polls showed more people voted for Democrats -- they did.

As Greg Palast said, "...the exit polls are accurate."

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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-25-04 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. Exit polls are
so accurate that back in the 70's networks got into trouble for announcing results based on exit polling. For those of you too young to remember, in 1980 Jimmy Carter conceded well before polls closed on the west coast, and thousands of people simply walked away from their polling places when they heard, and if may well be that many other races' outcome were affected because of this.

I'm bothered by the fact that James Zogby hasn't been speaking out about polling vs the supposed results on November 2nd. When asked, on the Daily Show several days before the election, who would win, there was absolutely no hesitation when he said Kerry. It was his lack of hesitation that was so impressive.

But this happened in 2000, and again in 2002, most notably in Max Cleland's "defeat" which involved a major shift in votes on election day from the polling the day before.
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TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-26-04 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. All true. Carter is a smart guy but he screwed that up. n/t
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