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The Absurdity of Election Night Coverage and Exit Polls

May 7, 2008

I am watching MSNBC coverage of the Indiana and North Carolina Democratic Primary results and I am struck by how profligate the network is with almost all of the exit poll results for Indiana (which has not yet been called) except the aggregate percentages for each of the candidates! The race is "too close to call," but that doesn’t explain this.

Why don’t the networks tell us who "won" according to the exit polls? The polls have closed, so they can’t affect the results. Are the exit polls so lacking in trustworthiness that they aren’t really informative? If that is the case, why are the demographic breakdowns from the exit polls thrown around and talked as if they were gospel? (They don’t even mention margins of error when talking about them!)

Something doesn’t make sense here.

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