Controversies in Exit Polling: Implementing a Racially Stratified Homogenous Precinct Approach
In November 2000, exit poll interviews with voters in Florida indicated that Al Gore won the state. As a result, many television networks declared Gore the winner of Florida, a pivotal state to winning the presidency in 2000. Only a few hours later, the first vote tallies from the Florida Secretary of State's office revealed that George W. Bush was in fact leading in Florida. After 45 days of recounts and lawsuits, it was clear that the exit polls were wrong; Bush had won the state by the narrowest of margins. As a result of the flawed exit poll the media and pollsters scoured and reanalyzed the methodology used in 2000 to prepare and correct for the 2004 presidential election. The old system, Voter News Service (VNS) was scrapped entirely, and Edison-Mitofsky Research was chosen to implement a new and more accurate national exit poll in 2004 by a consortium of news organizations retained by the Associated Press called the National Election Pool (NEP). What happened? Exit poll results from Edison-Mitofsky showed John Kerry ahead in Ohio, Florida, and New Mexico—all states which he lost to Bush in 2004.a
Barreto, Matt A., Fernando Guerra, Mara Marks, Stephen A. Nuno, and Nathan D. Woods. 2006. "Controversies in Exit Polling: Implementing a Racially Stratified Homogenous Precinct Approach." PS-Political Science & Politics 39(3):477-483.