NEW YORK – Barack Obama’s tendency through the Democratic primaries to perform better in exit polls than he actually does at the ballot box has some media organizations nervous heading into Election Night.
By David Bauder, AP Television Writer
Fri Oct 3, 6:09 PM ET
Exit polls offer some concerns for networks – Yahoo! NewsNEW YORK – Barack Obama’s tendency through the Democratic primaries to perform better in exit polls than he actually does at the ballot box has some media organizations nervous heading into Election Night.
Television networks want to avoid having their performance become an issue for the third straight presidential election. Their political experts hope that experience gained during the primaries will help things run smoothly Nov. 4.
ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News Channel and The Associated Press pool resources to conduct exit polls in select precincts, hoping to glean information about why people vote the way they do and to help predict a winner or loser. A combination of actual vote counts and exit polls is generally used to “call” a state for one candidate or another.
Exit polls frequently overstated Obama’s vote during the primaries by as much as 3 percentage points.
“We’re concerned about it, but not, `Oh, my god, the exit polls are going to be wrong,'” said NBC News analyst Chuck Todd. “We’re aware it’s an issue and we’re doing everything we can to correct it during our survey work.”
Well-educated and young voters are more likely to agree to fill out an exit-poll survey, and both these groups have tended to favor Obama, the experts said.
Enthusiastic voters are also more likely to seek out pollsters, or at least not go out of their way to avoid them. That was true about Obama during the primaries, just as it was for Republican Pat Buchanan during the 1992 New Hampshire primary, said Kathleen Frankovic, CBS News director of surveys.
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Exit polls offer some concerns for networks – Yahoo! News.