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Exit Polls; or, How Did Kerry Win, Again?

by C.M. Decarnin

How come anybody is willing to base vast Republican conspiracies on the idea of exit polls?  Are they somehow more accurate, more organized, more truthful, less confusing or slanted or harebrained than other polls?  Were they brought down on stone tablets from Mount Sinai, what?

Because I want to know how the exit pollsters counted the voters who, when asked who they voted for, responded, "None of your beeswax," or "Get away from me you Commie, and stop calling me on the phone!" or "Fuck you, capitalist running-dog of the military-industrial-infotainment complex!"

Because in Ohio, I guarantee there were a lot of people who take the concept of "secret ballot" seriously.  I'd also be willing to bet a lot of them voted Republican.  Quite possibly a higher percentage than of those willing to proclaim their politics to strangers with clipboards.

Did the poll even count how many non-responders there were?

I can also see where some people might lie.  Not that I think that would tip the balance, but come on now.  Haven't you ever deliberately put down a dumb-ass answer on a questionnaire just out of cussedness?  Either because you were annoyed at being required to do it, or because the stupidity of a question affronted you, or just to fuck with the curve?  Or because a loved one was looking over your shoulder, someone you didn't want knowing the real answer?  I'm not saying a LOT of people would do it.  But you know some did.

Some might even accidentally give a wrong answer.  Incredible?  Have you watched "Street Smarts" or "Jaywalking" lately?  Never mind punching the wrong hole back in the voting booth.

What percentage of the pollsters were Democrats?  How many were young kids getting minimum wage, who might be reluctant to approach older voters navigating with canes and walkers?  How many were retirees not quick enough to catch a speeding frat boy?  How many were white and might hesitate to nab a person of color?  Vice versa?  Were any of the pages lost, double-counted, or misread?  Did they poll all day, every polling place?  If not, how did they choose where and when they'd poll?

And... you trust that choice?

I'm just saying there are a lot of ways for polls to go wrong.  They should all be acknowledged before leaping to the conclusion that Kerry must have won, cause the polls said.

Not that I would put anything past the assholes in power.  Nope.  But their nefariousness is laughable compared to the breathtaking scope and infinite variety of human incompetence.

And I've got nothing against conspiracy theories.  They're the lifeblood of change.  Just, who needs enemies when you've got digitized soothsayers?

Exit polls.

Pursued by a bear.