Why the Networks Cut Exit Polls

Why the Networks Cut Exit Polls

The networks and the Associated Press have an insidious plan to help President Obama on Election Day that is being swept under the rug: they are cutting nineteen states from the list of exit polls they will report. For twenty years, all 50 states have been reported, but somehow this year the networks and AP are ignoring 19 of them.  Now just how and why were those 19 states selected?

The ostensible reason given is the rising cost of the surveys. Dan Merkle, director of elections for ABC News, and a member of the consortium that runs the polls, said the goal “is to still deliver a quality product in the most important states.”

So just which states are being ignored?  Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Washington Post tried to gloss over the scheme, noting “how carefully the exit poll planners allocated resources. All 19 of the states with no exit polls are classified as either “solid Obama” or “solid Romney.”

Really? Of the nineteen states (including Washington, D.C.) exactly 4 are for Obama, with a total of 14 electoral votes. The fifteen Romney states add up to 135.

It is utter hogwash that the exit polls were cut from these states because they were in the bag for one of the candidates. If Texas is cut, how about New York and California?

The real reason the consortium has cut these states is that they know that if they report fifteen states coming in for Romney early, independent voters in other states will take notice and be swayed his way.

There is no way that the networks and AP can rationalize their decision without damning themselves with their obvious partisanship. In 2008, the major media outlets were in the tank and lined up for Obama, but it was done under the radar. Now it’s all-encompassing. They are goose-stepping in public.


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