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The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy
(A Research Report from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Division, School of Arts & Sciences Center for Organizational Dynamics, Steven F. Freeman et al)
[COMMENT by Lorenzo: This is an excellent, easy-to-read, well-documented 19 page report. I highly recommend clicking the link above and reading the full report. Only the Summary is presented here.]
Summary and Implications
In this report, I have: (1) documented that, in general, exit poll data are sound, (2) demon-strated that it is exceedingly unlikely that the deviations between exit poll predictions and vote tallies in the three critical battleground states could have occurred strictly by chance or random error, and (3) explained why explanations for the discrepancy thus far provided are inadequate. The unexplained discrepancy leaves us with two broad categories of hypotheses: the exit poll data are wrong (or misleading) in ways that have yet to be documented, or the count is off. The most important investigations concern verification of the tallies and allegations of fraud on one hand; and the exit poll data and methodology on the other. Particularly useful statistical analyses would compare the “shift” in states, counties and precincts where safeguards are strong vs. those where they are suspect, but such analyses require NEP’s raw data. Given that neither the pollsters nor their media clients have provided solid explanations to the public, suspicion of mistabulation or even fraud is running rampant and unchecked. The fact that so many people suspect misplay undermines not only the legitimacy of the presidency, but faith in the foundations of the democracy. Systematic fraud or mistabulation is as yet an unfounded conclusion, but the election’s unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate.

posted by Lorenzo 7:37 PM

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