03 October 2008

Exit polls raising concerns this year for U.S. television networks

Oct 3, 2008

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.

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 three percentage points.


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