Looks like a different opinion between the "experts". So someone else suggested in another thread, you can't just except certain experts who agree with you and automatically rule out a group of experts who don't support your case.
March 31, 2005
Authors and Endorsers:
, Ph.D. Temple University Statistics Department
, MS mathematics, USCountVotes, President
Steven F. Freeman
, Ph.D. Visiting Scholar & Affiliated Faculty, Center for Organizational Dynamics,
University of Pennsylvania
, Ph.D. Professor of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of
, Ph.D. Professor of Numerical Analysis, School of Computing, University of Utah
Richard G. Sheehan
, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame
Paul F. Velleman
, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University
, Ph.D. Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Campbell B. Read
, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist
, J.D. Alliance for Democracy
Ph.D. Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago
, USCountVotes, Vice President
What is the Main Cause of the Discrepancies between the Official Election Results and
the Exit Polls?
The exit pollster of record for the 2004 election was the Edison/Mitofsky
1 consortium. Their
national poll results projected a Kerry victory by 3.0%, whereas the official count had Bush
winning by 2.5%.2 The probability that the national exit poll results would be as different as they
were from the national popular vote by random chance is less than 1 in 959,0003 and cannot be
attributed to chance.
Edison/Mitofsky disavowed the results of their own poll, saying that the data cannot be construed
as evidence that the official vote count was corrupted, and hypothesized that Kerry voters were
more amenable to completing the poll questionnaire than Bush voters.
However, Edison/Mitofsky's own exit poll data does not support their theory that a higher exit
poll response rate by Kerry voters accounted for the discrepancies between the exit polls and the
presidential election results. Using Edison/Mitofsky’s data tables we demonstrate that the
“reluctant Bush responder” hypothesis is implausible because it is inconsistent with the
combination of high response rates and high discrepancy rates among the precincts with the
highest percentage for Bush.
There are Three Primary Explanations for the Discrepancies:
Statistical Sampling Error – or Chance
We agree with Edison/Mitofsky that the first possible cause, random statistical sampling error,
can be ruled out.
2. Inaccurate Exit Polls
This is the theory that Edison/Mitofsky put forth. They hypothesize that the reason the exit polls
were so biased towards Kerry was because Bush voters were more reluctant to respond to exit
polls than Kerry voters. Edison/Mitofsky did not come close to justifying this position, however,
even though they have access to the raw, unadjusted, precinct-specific data set. The data that
Edison/Mitofsky did offer in their report show how implausible this theory is.
3. Inaccurate Election Results
Edison/Mitofsky did not even consider this hypothesis, and thus made no effort to contradict it.
Some of Edison/Mitofsky's exit poll data may be construed as affirmative evidence for
inaccurate election results. We conclude that the hypothesis that the voters’ intent was not
accurately recorded or counted cannot be ruled out and needs further investigation.
more at link above