Monday, November 08, 2004

Exit Polls Invalid on One Point, Valid on Another?

The exit polls conducted for all the networks during last weeks elections were discredited and thrown out as the night wore on and it became clear from the actual returns that they were very flawed and, indeed, very mistaken. When the first exit polls came out, they showed Kerry carrying nearly every swing state, winning the electoral college vote and the popular vote of the whole country. This was obviously not the case and yet these same exit polls have reemerged to explain Bush's victory. Because it was these same exit polls that put so called "moral values" as the number one issue for those voting for president. How can we discard these exit polls as not being in any way representative in terms of whom one voted for, yet representative of why one voted for whom one voted for?

The results of these exit polls were not only wrong in predicting the outcome of the vote, but are counter-intuitive in terms of why people voted. It is unlikely that with a campaign focused entirely around the War on Terrorism that the main issue for voters would be the nearly irrelevant side issues of moral values, which essentially means gay marriages, which were all invalidated by courts (except in MA) by the time election day actually occurred. How much of these issues does one actually remember from the debates? Aside from the two moments when Edwards and then Kerry made reference to one of the Vice-Presidents daughters, who also happens to be a lesbian.

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