November 4th, 2008
07:29 PM ET
12 years ago

Should we trust exit polls?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)."]
(CNN) - Remember the exit polls during the Bush-Kerry race?

Ask President Kerry how much faith we should put on exit polls.

Point: If the exit polls are as wrong this year as they were four years ago, we might expect to see a closer race in some battleground states than people suspect. May not be enough to turn the electoral map upside down, but stay tuned.

Filed under: Exit Polls
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. JB

    No, I always lie to the pollsters, just to give the folks at CNN something to talk about and keep me entertained while there is nothing on the tube but this stuff.

    So why shouldn't others....

    November 4, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Charles W.

    None of you guys should even BE calling these races. By doing so, you run the risk of having people feel that there maybe no need to get out there and vote – whether it's because they feel their candidate will loose, or has already won.

    Why can't you guys keep your noses out of places they don't belong?

    Charles W.

    November 4, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. Bryan

    here is a crazy idea...let people go to the polls and vote their minds before "declaring" who wins a particular state and/or race.

    if a football team is ahead in the 3rd quarter, do you say "our best info is that the team ahead will win the game"?? seriously, how can you possibly take these types of polls with any degree of accuracy considering the litany of mistakes made in the past?

    report what has actually happened, not what you think/hope is going to's obvious who CNN wants to win, so why not let it happen of its own accord instead of forcing the issue by hinting that certain races are beyond hope??

    November 4, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  4. Carlsbad Living

    If McCain wins it is not a fix or a stolen vote, just the real vote and not media bs.

    November 4, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. CSR in Tx

    I have pretty much never trusted exit polls. We have a HUGE amount of suggestion going on, where polls closing several hours after one third of the country has been 'called' to one candidate or the other... It's basically a useless system as far as reporting goes. Wait for the votes to be counted, that's all that really matters!

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  6. Jeff R

    After the Kerry debacle, never gonna trust the voting machines again

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. Max

    We're called the quiet majority.

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. sandee in Portland

    I hope and pray they are not wrong. The thought of having a far, right wing evangelical as VP and a President who is a blatant liar and has pulled some of the dirtiest tactics I've ever seen is unimaginable. We're enough of a laughing stock in the world now....I'd had to see us become even worse. If that happens, it would appear that none of us learned by voting for Bush about consequences of our actions.

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. Tom

    All that matters is the count at the end of the voting. Obama has won the "Darling of the Media" award but still must receive enough votes to win the election. This is simple enough for even a Liberal to understand.

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. gina

    I think that we shouldn't trust the exit polls.For example, the 2002 exits were WAY off!!! I pray that McCain/Palin win. By the way...Bush didn't STEAL the election. It would have been a lot easier of a win if there weren't so much voter we have seen is a big issue this election. The media likes to hype up and predict winners even though the election hadn't begun yet.

    November 4, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Vernon

    Exist polls have worked everywhere else never more than 1% off except in the US after 1999!!! I wonder why that is?

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |


    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. Kathy

    If asked by an exit-poll person whom I voted for, I'd lie. I live in the rural South. I voted for Obama. If that fact were known in my area, my life would be miserable. The turnout this morning was high for my little area – 9 people in front of me. I've never seen that before and joked I didn't know that many lived around me. We are very, very, very rural. These people didn't vote in previous elections and my state is predicted to go for McCain – so what's the deal. I think it's just to make a racist statement. I'm county on cities and urban areas to get Senator Obama in the white House. A McCain victory is very scary to me.

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Yes.. seriously we need to remember separation of church and state

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Julia R

    Our Service Men and Woman...
    The voting final count is not over till every vote is in this would include our service men and woman who should of been sent there absent tee ballots in September many of them I am sure are not happy eighter that there vote may not be counted and even thow we vote not every single vote is counted we the people need to make a few changes..
    Vote on our represinatives pay retirement -travel .....we are being riped off more by this then any other miss spending we should vote on then thing not them..

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  16. Gmoney

    McCain deserves it, hes earned the presidency

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Grant in Tucson

    I'm worried that there is a general feeling that fraud will be prevalent. That is the beginnings of anarchy. The polling workers I know are very patriotic and take their jobs seriously. All the way up to the Secretary's of state, I think they put the Constitution before party affiliations. Call me an optimist, but that's the faith I do keep in our system.

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  18. Dan

    One third of voters voted ahead of time. how are they taking that into account?

    In the past exit polls were VERY accurate. Maybe some of the recent inaccuracy is failure to account for early voters.

    November 4, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Jeremy

    No we should not trust the exit polls. The media has put too much emphasis on these exit polls and therefore skewed the voting decision of some small-minded individuals that might watch your polls, than place a last minute vote, and thus follow the leader like the sheep that they are. The media should not be allowed to give projections for the winner of the presidency until at least 66.6% of the vote is in for each state and than an accurate prediction could be placed. The media needs to understand and fully appreciate the authority they have as American families gather around their living rooms tonight and watch this historic election take place with expectations of the news to give us an honest perception of what is taking place at the polls in each state. Long story short don’t start a preaching until the fat lady sings!

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. NHochs

    Everyone seems so resigned and cynical. Exit polls are exit polls; they are not credence nor written in stone. Take them for what they are. Everyone has to embrace what life is about to throw at them.

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  21. Jeff

    I'd say if Obama doesn't win, with these polls projecting him with atleast 300 electoral votes and with leads as much as 10 points in virginia and other swing states, THEN I'd be left speechless.

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. breezy

    What about early voters are they a part of these polls? What about absentee voters, do we even bother to count those anymore? Are they represented in these exit polls? The polls are a bunch of hype. Let's try to count all the votes this time around instead of throwing a bunch of the swing states into the garbage like last time.

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. G. Giles

    I used to live in Oklahoma and voted as a Democrat twice. I now am back in Texas and voted for Obama. I know lots of other Texans and Oklahomans that would be proud to say they voted OBAMA.

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. Dave B

    Exit polls are more trustworthy than the corrupt state government officials who are chartered to count the votes. It is a sad commentary on the state of our government that I am not in the minority in this belief, if the comments posted are indicative of the general populace.

    November 4, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  25. batts

    just wait and see

    November 4, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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