When Exit Polls Are Inconvenient, CNN Doesn’t Print Them

As I was driving to a sleep apnea study in Algonquin last night shortly after the polls closed in Wisconsin, I heard that exist polls had Scott Walker and Tom Barrett tied.

Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal noticed and predicted the election would not be called until late in the night, as did the station I was listening to.

I discovered that Seattle PI reported last night,

“A CNN exit poll had Walker and Barrett tied at 50 percent apiece.”

But when I got to the Centegra facility in Algonquin, Fox News was predicting Scott Walker to have won.

Surprised, I switched to CNN.

Same prediction there.

I concluded that the exit polls must have been wrong…by a lot.

Tonight I tried to find that “Walker and Barrett are tied” statistic, but could not.

I did find this breakdown of exit polling that has a CNN heading:

CNN Exit Poll does not contain the head-to-head results which were reported on radio to be too close to call.

Notice the information about the tie race can’t be found.

Those offering hope to President Obama do not refer to the head-to-head results.

  • Here’s one from Ronald Brownstein, writing in the National Journal.
  • In the same publication here’s another by Jill Lawrence. She manages to focus on the 7-point lead that Obama has over Romney, but not the approximately 7-point mistake in the gubernatorial exit poll result.
  • Nothing in the Associated Press story about there being a tie in the exit poll. The closest the story came was a description that the voters were “passionately divided.”

My question is why this finding:

“Results gave President Obama a 54-42 percent lead over Republican nominee-in-waiting Willard “Mitt” Romney.”

is more significant than the demonstrably false apparent and unposted CNN exit poll 50-50 finding in the Walker-Barrett contest?


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