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McCain Campaign’s Memo on Reading the Exit Polls


The Drudge Report carries a memo from the McCain campaign on reading tomorrow’s exit polls.  Its bottom line: 

Based on the previous [years’] exit poll results, we should expect once again that Tuesday’s exit poll data could overstate the Obama vote and under represent the McCain vote. It is important that the campaign make sure the media realizes this, so that when the exit polls do leak, people do not overreact to the early exit poll data. 

And the memo’s five “key points”:

1. Historically, exit polls have tended to overstate the Democratic vote.

2. The exit polls are likely to overstate the Obama vote because Obama voters are more likely to participate in the exit poll.

3. The exit polls have tended to skew most Democratic in years where there is high turnout and high vote interest like in 1992 and 2004.

4. It is not just the national exit poll that skews Democratic, but each of the state exit polls also suffers from the same Democratic leanings.

5. The results of the exit polls are also influenced by the demographics of the voters who conduct the exit polls.

According to the memo, the exit polls in 2004 had John Kerry “performing 5.5 net points better than the actual results showed him to have done.”


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