Exit Polls

EXIT POLLS….The CNN guys were blathering on a few minutes ago about how the exit polls were screwy once again this year, and wondering whether they could ever be trusted again. And it’s true that some of the early exit polls were off by several percentage points.

But those were early exit polls, and everyone knows they have a fairly high margin of error. So I just made a cursory check of the final exit polls and compared them to the final vote ? and guess what? They were pretty close: within one point for the national vote (which had an MOE of about 1%) and within a couple of points for the state polls (which had an MOE of 2-4% depending on the state). In other words, they were all within the statistical margin of error.

So what’s the problem? Sampling error is irreducible, so there’s no way the exit polls could have been any better than they were. What’s all the griping about?

And now I’m off to bed. See you in the morning.

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