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Slate Posts Top-Secret Exit Polling Numbers 134

cmdr_beeftaco writes "Slate is running an ongoing commentary with the raw exit-poll data from the National Election Pool consortium owned by the Associated Press and the five television networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN) to their news divisions and to the newsrooms of NEP subscribers-big city newspapers and other broadcasters. 'The paid users of exit-poll data have signed a blood oath not to divulge it to unauthorized eyes, and the networks have promised not to call any states before their polls close. Slate believes its readers should know as much about the unfolding election as the anchors and other journalists, so given the proviso that the early numbers are no more conclusive than the midpoint score of a baseball game, we're publishing the exit-poll numbers as we receive them.'"
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Slate Posts Top-Secret Exit Polling Numbers

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  • Rumor Mill... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by D.A. Zollinger ( 549301 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:45PM (#10705187) Homepage Journal
    The rumor going around at work is that traditionally when there is heavy turnout at the polls (like today's near record turnout) it is a sign of the masses rising up to throw out the party in power.
    • Re: Rumor Mill... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:48PM (#10705222)

      > The rumor going around at work is that traditionally when there is heavy turnout at the polls (like today's near record turnout) it is a sign of the masses rising up to throw out the party in power.

      Another tradition is that due to the way the two parties have divided the social pyramid, heavy turnouts favor the Democrats.

      Presumably these traditions have a sounder basis than all the sports correlations we've been hearing about, but under the circumstances I would still interpret them cautiously. Both parties have worked extremely hard to get their voters out this year.

    • Not a rumour actually. Just a result of the silent majority speaking up. There are many voters that did not vote in 2000.

    • I've got a handy list of average IQ per state, now let's match it with republican vote all over again. (-; a ve rages.htm

      Just remember those numbers are as true as a /. poll so don't feel insulted if it's pointed out all over again that dumb people support people who are representative of them!

      The link also has job creation per president, in percentage and other goodies. (-;

      Can someone please mod me under-rated flamebait, + 5?
  • by wizbit ( 122290 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:45PM (#10705189)
    These are provided by the National Election Pool, the successor to Voter News Services, disbanded after the 2000 election froo-fraw. And these numbers have been available all afternoon (well, since 2pm EST) to anyone in the media who would've been interested. Salon's readers would've learned about it any number [] of times [] reading the War Room this afternoon. And as always, these early returns are to be taken with a HUGE - repeat, HUGE - grain of salt. The networks won't report these because they are unreliable at this point and because of the great caution they are taking to avoid another 2000 debacle.
  • by mind21_98 ( 18647 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:45PM (#10705191) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure if it's a good idea for Slate to be posting exit polls. Exit polls tend to throw elections when they're very close, IMHO, and we cannot afford to have the election be in doubt this time around.

    BTW: if you're reading this and you haven't voted yet, GO VOTE.
  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by timothv ( 730957 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:45PM (#10705194)
    There's also constant updates at []
  • I think its reasonable for the more wonky places like Slate(did I just say that?) to post exit numbers. The people reading it there or here have probably either voted already or will do so regardless of the polls.

    I still think it would be very ethically questionable to, say, broadcast the numbers on a popular radio show or in the 6PM news blurb.
  • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:48PM (#10705224) Homepage Journal
    Kerry's going to win at least 306 electoral points, since he's picking up Iowa according to the late results.

    To the guy who stole my Kerry sign in the middle of the day: Congratulations, you've got yourself a nice sign.

    Me: the guy I voted for is going to become the President.

    Today is a really good day indeed. Hey buddy, Enjoy that fucking sign!
    • Wow, John Kerry has some real stand-up guys supporting him.
    • Clearly, the lessons of 2000 didn't sink in. What should we have learned about exit polls?

      (Canada, you need a computer geek émigré?)

      What's scariest about this election: probably at least 40-50% of the voters for each candidate simply cannot understand why anyone would vote for the other candidate. We're not only divided, we're unable to understand each other.

      How do we fix this?

  • Repost (Score:2, Informative)

    by fafalone ( 633739 )
    I had some trouble accessing Slate a little while ago, in case others have the same problem, here is a copy of text as of 5:55PM EST:
    Early Exit
    Kerry leads.
    By Jack Shafer
    Updated Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004, at 2:46 PM PT
    The first wave of exit-poll data reaching my desk comes from a variety of sources. In some states the sources disagree about the specific margin by which a candidate leads, but never about which candidate is out in front. Some of the confusion may stem from the mixing of morning exit-poll
  • The success in Ohio and Florida depends on the high voter turnout - if people stay home, because they think the race is over, Kerry could lose. BTW Zogby is giving similar predictions, Kerry winning 311 eleven electoral votes. []
  • Ethics? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan.stine@gmail.cTEAom minus caffeine> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @07:01PM (#10705364) Homepage
    I'm not so sure this is ethically the right thing to do, as it may have a bearing on the election if many people see it. Recall the problems in Florida in 2000 when Fox called the state for Gore. I believe the McLauglin Group said that quite a few western Floridians (a strongly Republican area) did not vote because of the news.

    If the news is supposed to be unbiased, and allowing polling information is to bias the electorate, then perhaps they should just sit on the information until that state is closed.

    Can't we impatient Americans wait until tomorrow to find out who won?
    • Re:Ethics? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Unordained ( 262962 )
      Or we could just expect people not to be stupid: no matter how they're calling it, vote anyway. It's not the media's fault that people are lazy enough to stay home if they think they can't win or have alread won (if we can really call it winning) ... publish the data. People only get the government they deserve anyway.
    • If you care about the election, see that your guy is down based on an exit poll, and don't vote, I am glad, no matter what party you are. I don't want monkies or your pet to vote as their input is worthless. I don't want stupid people to vote either. If you don't vote because of an exit poll, I consider that a victory for democracy, regardless of who wins.
  • by xmas2003 ( 739875 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @07:03PM (#10705381) Homepage
    When the halloween webcam voting []closed last night, the numbers were:
    HULK: 15,020 BUSH: 14,531 KERRY: 14,192
    but it is open for voting (for the last night) in 2 hours.

    But I don't see the Big Green Guy listed in Slate's numbers, so it doesn't bode well for Hulk for President []

  • Heavy turnout (Score:2, Interesting)

    by craw ( 6958 )
    and cell-phones tell the story. A heavy turnout means that younger people are voting, and they favor Kerry. It was means that there are also many first-time voters; this also favors Kerry.

    A lot of young people never get contacted in the National polls as the pollsters usually do not call cell phone numbers.

  • by waynegoode ( 758645 ) * on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @07:12PM (#10705468) Homepage
    Why bother counting, or even finishing the voting? Zogby's already settled it. [end sarcasm]

    Zogby [] has already called it for Kerry 311 to 213.

    Early results/predictions are interesting, but that's all.

    Election results: early or accurate, pick one.

  • Zogby is calling it for Kerry. In a landslide [].

  • by Castaa ( 458419 ) * on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @07:22PM (#10705565) Homepage Journal
    Take these with a grain of salt but here you go:

    5PM EST exit polls... From an email sent by a Demo staffer on the Hill.

    FLorida: Kerry up by four
    Ohio: Kerry up by five
    Michigan: Kerry up by four
    Pennsyvlania: Kerry up by 16
    Iowa: Kerry up by 2
    Wisconsin: Kerry up by 5
    Minnesota: Kerry up by 15
    Nevada: Bush up by one
    New Mexico: tied at 49
    Virginia: Bush up by one
    North Carolina: Bush up by 5
    Maine: 55-44 Kerry, with Kerry winning both congressional districts avoiding an electoral college split.
    Colorado: Kerry inched up to 51-49 lead as of 3 pm
  • [] has a lot more info than slate has and had it a lot earlier. Also, I was talking to a DNC member and the internal top secret DNC polls supposedly had Kerry only losing in Virginia by 1%. I guess I'm not supposed to tell anyone, but oh well.

    ---- []
  • It's not yet time for Republicans to despair or Democrats to celebrate. These early numbers are notoriously unreliable. There has already been a significant shift from the mid-day numbers released at 2:00 to the afternoon numbers we are looking at now. For instance PA went from Kerry by 20 at 2:00 to Kerry by 9 in these late afternoon numbers from Slate - right now it's down to a 4 point lead. In 2002 there were double digit shifts from mid-day early numbers to the final results.

    It's a poll. The early num
    • That is the real reason why the futures markets are heading Kerry's way BIG, and why all the cable tv news talking heads look like they are at a funeral: the turnout at certain, key Democratic precincts is HUGE, and significantly higher than corresponding GOP precincts.

      KERRY WINS!!

      But still, if you are a liberal/Democrat--go VOTE.

      However, you may want to vote strategically: if you are a liberal in a solid red state, vote rightwing 3rd party--build up the Constitution Party (or if the Constitution party c
  • by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @07:53PM (#10705852) Journal
    It you're in Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, or North Carolina, are registered to vote, and haven't voted, and the polls are still open, get your ass to the polls. They are very close.
  • The CBC has a great little flash animation of the election results. uselec041102.html Hope y'all find it helpful.
  • Bush has 4 states, Kerry has 1.
  • Seeing as CNN has already given West Virgina to Bush and Slate gives it to Kerry with a comfortable margin, I wouldn't hold this as gospel yet.
  • As the evening goes on, this race is tightening to a virtual tie nationwide. Kerry's people aren't talking much, but National Review says they're talking to people in Washington that says Ohio and Florida should trend back to Bush by the end of the evening. Kerry's own people are worried about Oregon now, a state that wasn't supposed to be in play. This is going to be razor close until late tonight.
    • From slat's electoral map if Ohio and Florida both go Bush, he'll pretty much win this sucker. I'm watching for the first of NM, IA, FL, OH, MN, PA, and NH to close (the time it is taking for NH to be declared makes me lean toward a W for Bush. All I really want is for the decision to be leaning enough one way or the other by tomorrow morning that we can put this election behind us for 4 years, no matter who wins.
  • What is this? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @09:27PM (#10706476)
    Every exit poll i've seen says Florida is leaning towards Kerry by about 1 or 2 percent, however NBC says that with 22% of the precincts reporting that Florida is 55% for Bush, which seems well outside what i'd expect for the margin error.

    So are we just getting an odd set of precincts reporting first, or is the official vote vastly different (statistically speaking) from the exit polls?

    At what point do we demand some kind of investigation, especially given the number of Diebold machines in Florida? This is the first time i've been glad for the exit polls, which will hopefully provide some check on votes getting changed after they're cast.

    • So are we just getting an odd set of precincts reporting first, or is the official vote vastly different (statistically speaking) from the exit polls?

      Speaking for myself, if someone I know (in real life, not the from the internet) asks me who I am for, I tell them it's not their business. If a pollster asks me, I am as likely to lie as I am to tell them I am not comfortable divulging my choice. I think if you are for Bush, you are probably a little more inclined to decline or lie. <flamebait> Pro
      • I think if you are for Bush, you are probably a little more inclined to decline or lie

        I'd be more afraid of being rounded up by Bush's secret police if I indicated I was for Kerry.
    • Yes, the precincts report in unusual ways. Also, yes, polls skew strongly for the challenger, even in races where the incumbent wins.
      • Re:What is this? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Daetrin ( 576516 )
        Everything i've read recently has said that historically the incumbant doesn't usually get any higher in the election than they did in the last poll before the election, which seems to indicate that if anything the polls skew towards the incumbant. If so that trend has certainly been destroyed this election.
  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @09:32PM (#10706499)
    He just "blasted the system" on CNN talking about how we all keep voting for the same crap year after year and how the lobbyists control everything and how the major parties rig things to keep others out.

    I think that's about the most insightful thing I've heard from any major media outlet this whole election cycle, and it totally blew me away. I never expected anyone from the major media to wise up that much, and even if they did I wouldn't have expected them to air anything like that. CNN gets my support for political coverage if they keep this up.
  • I voted George Walker! /obscure.. /stupid
  • Slate believes...

    That it has a right to screw up the election. Thumbs up guys!

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas