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. Alain James

    Exit polls should be outlawed.

    They are a violation of privacy.
    They are a violation of the sanctity of the secret ballot.

    They also are manipulative and influence voters in states whose polls remain open.

    They are also potentially extremely unreliable because people might not choose to be honest in answering.

    If I were asked who I voted for, I would tell the questioner to mind his/her own business.

    November 4, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Vivian M.

    The only exit poll I care about is the one polling G.W. Bush on the way out. Gobama!

    November 4, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Jon

    The problem is when exit polls are dramatically different from the electronic voting 'results' that are produced from a DieBold voting computer.
    Hopefully, if such rampant differences exist like last time, the media won't bend over and accept it. Hopefully, they'll explore it and reveal it.

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Najam

    McCain win would certainly mean that serious rigging has taken place. There is no way, so many Americans can be foolish to vote for people who have played havoc with the country's fate and almost brought it to doom. If McCain wins, then Americans voting for him are foolish.

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Phil

    Why is some ignorant Canadian making comments about a US election. McCain should win by a landslide. Are you saying my vote for McCain is stolen? Saying this election will be stolen is completely idiotic and shallow. A sign of a very poor loser. The silent majority is still voting and guess what? – they're not you (thank goodness).

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Jordan

    we should trust them four years ago the exit polls were wrong because of the touch screen voting. That is why they were wrong.

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. G. Giles

    Some folks voted on electronic voting machines with straight ticket as a Democrat with Obama for President and then voted individually, which therefore cancels out the straight ticket and the votes individually are counted but the vote for President is not. First time ever that there has been a notice to this effect, which many people are not reading....and the clincher is that they were told to do it this way. So...if their vote got cancelled for Obama, is it the fault of the machines that cancelled out the vote for President, or the person who voted incorrectly only because the machines are set up that way, thinking they were doing it correctly. How many Republicans are going to have the same problem? Is it not odd that all of the stories about the votes being switched are never of a Democrat being chosen over a Republican? If the Republicans win due to stealing the vote, which I think is possible because I think they have done it twice before and folks don't want to believe it. IF it happens again, and enough people feel that it has been stolen again, I hope they stand up and say something this time around. Otherwise, Democracy as we know it is dead. If there is a company which seems to have proprietary interests in the voting machine process and there is no way for persons who voted to verify that their vote was counted the way they intended, then where is the Democracy? I feel the future of everything is at stake here tonight. I pray that the hearts and minds of the people who truly want change will be answered tonight. May the people's vote be heard tonight. Amen

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  8. Debbie

    From my perspective exit polls are absolutely worthless. I'm 43 yrs old and voted in every election since I was old enough and in at least 3 states and have never once been questioned after leaving the polls; I've never even seen anyone asking so it is not because I chose not to be asked. I saw nobody at my precinct this morning.

    November 4, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Julie

    I would suggest that conservatives would be less apt to want to participate in an exit poll as we do not trust the press. That could explain a lot.

    November 4, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    People lie... Its a fact. So if people are giving the data to people who are polling than that would only lead me to believe that its all a lie...

    November 4, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Sal

    I've never experienced an exit poll, but I've always said if I was asked questions that I would probably just tell them the opposite of how I voted. I think people just want to mess with the media.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. dave

    If McCain wins, it will be rough for him to do anything with a house and senate that fight him on everything. Much like the past two years under Bush. If Obama gets it, then the bottom could, and will likely, drop out the bottom quickly with no checks in the system in place. No balance.

    Lets face it, the two party system sucks.

    We are a spoiled nation, and we need to wake up from the dream life we grow up expecting, and realize that the real American dream is realized by everyone who is willing to do what it takes to get it. that would be work for what you want. Now we do have some that are not able to do this, but the majority of our welfare babies come crying that we dont do enough, are just too lazy to do what it takes to be successful.

    This is a no win election. Expect the fincial woes to get worse if you are waiting for the government to bail you out.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Exit polls are usually an excellent indicator. They aren't the vote, but they have rarely differed substantially from the actual popular vote. That they did in 2004 suggests that there was widespread election fraud.

    Later events show that this is true, though the perpetrators of the election fraud now both hide behind shields of incompetence and suppressed information.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  14. Lorena M

    I do not trust exit polls, we should just wait for the people to vote and then we can speculate what the trends will be.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "President Kerry????"

    Dream on, and check your history.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Florida

    Please for the love of God...if something was to happen to McCain Lord help us all if Sarah is in charge!! She will wink me to death!!

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. John Q Cynic

    Don't trust the exit polls, it givers commentators something to slice, and dice as the real votes are tallied for the books.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    No i don't think that we should trust the polls, they didn't seem to be as accurate as people thought in the primaries, as well as the Bush/Kerry election.

    November 4, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6