FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

New York Primary: Why is Exit Poll Data Adjusted to Match Final Voting Results?

by

Tuesday night CNN projected a 52-48 Clinton win based on exit polling data at 9pm when polls closed in New York. Very similar numbers from ABC at the same time said voters by a 52-47 margin thought Clinton was more inspiring, a number you’d think would closely reflect how people voted. Clinton won the final reported tally by 16%, and by late night and early this morning, exit polling data available at CNN and elsewhere much more closely matched a mid-double digit margin for Clinton. Some of the turn arounds in terms of specific demographics were rather remarkable, especially since just 24 respondents were added to the relevant sample size.

Earlier, Clinton lead Sanders by 14% (57-43%) with Latina and Latino voters as I reported in my exit poll live blog. This was consistent with my 56-44% projection based primarily on the average of a half a dozen polls from the week and a half before New York voted. The final exit poll, however, shows Clinton doubling her lead to a 28% win with hispanic voters. Early reports suggested Sanders was winning 69-31% with voters under 45. Final exit polling shows him winning by just 10%, 55-45%, and included him losing the 30-39 year old demographic by 4%. Sanders has not lost 30-39-year-olds anywhere outside the South, including Ohio where he won with them by 18% but lost the overall vote by 14%.

From a statistical standpoint, this intrigued me.

Swings that radical, if the initial sampling is accurate in terms of size and randomness, are unusual but not out of the realm of possibility. My expectation was that those numbers would become more favorable to Sanders, not less. Sanders won rural upstate 58-42. Polls in rural upstate opened at noon, six hours later than polls in Buffalo and downstate, and just a handful of hours before initial exit polling was released. In Wisconsin, where I watched exit polling shifts carefully, younger voters voted later and stretched results more in Sanders favor.

I wanted to see what the initial sample size was. What I found was rather shocking.

As late as between 9-10pm eastern, the exit polls were still reporting similar numbers. John Aravosis wanted to prove that White Bernie-Bros are a real and measurable phenomenon. He took screenshots of CNN exit polling and posted them to his blog at 9:40pm last night. As of then, Clinton was leading Bernie Sanders with Latinos 59-41% with a 1367 sample size, just a 4% swing from earlier reporting. This made sense statistically, even if it wasn’t more favorable to Sanders as I expected.

Source: http://americablog.com/2016/04/sanders-exit-polls-new-york-hillary.html

But what happened next gets really weird. At that point, according not only to Aravosis’ blog, but also according to numbers I reported on my liveblog, CBS numbers still available as of this writing, and various Twitter users, Sanders was winning the 41% of the population 18-44 by a margin of 61-39% and was losing over 45-year-olds by the same 61-39% margin. These numbers are consistent with a 4 to 5 point Clinton win.

Here’s the deal, though. The sample size grew in the last two renditions of the exit pollingby just 24 respondents, first from 1367 to 1383 when I took several screen shots for my liveblog just after 11pm eastern and then to 1391 as of Wednesday morning. Over the same period, Clinton’s lead grew by 10% from 18% with Latinos to 28%. Her lead also grew by 10% among those 45 and over and shrunk by 12% with those under 45.  In exit poll version (2), Sanders lead with white people (59% of the vote) by 9%, in exit poll (3) by just 2%, and now with exit poll (4) it is tied.

This would be possible and reasonable with a very large growth in sample size, but, as you might imagine, is mathematically impossible without serious data fiddling in this instance. Sanders lead with the same sampling grown by just 1.8% dropped by 12% overall, by nine percentage points with men, by 12% with young voters, and by 9% with white voters. Meanwhile, Clinton’s lead with Latinx voters grew from 18% to 28% and with black voters by 2%.

Apparently, the last 24 respondents to exit polls yesterday were all Latina or black female Clinton voters over 44, and they were all allowed also to count more than double while replacing more than one male Sanders voters under 45.

To put this plainly: the numbers add up to 341 18-44-year-old voters for Sanders out of 1367 total respondents as of 9pm exit polls, version (2), that said it was a close race. By the next morning, the maximum number of Sanders voters 18-44 in the same data had dropped to just 313. Edison Research removed twenty-eight young white male Sanders respondents and has given no public explanation for the same. The initial overall exit poll, +4 or +5 Clinton, was outside the margin of error for the final result, Clinton +16 with 99.6% reporting.

I have attempted to contact Edison Research for a response. Yesterday afternoon, I was patched through to the voice mail of Joe Lenski, co-founder and Executive Vice-President of Edison. He has not responded and other calls and emails have also gone unanswered. I will update this piece if anyone from Edison responds.

More articles by:

Doug Johnson Hatlem is best known for his work as a street pastor and advocate with Toronto’s homeless population from 2005-2013. He is now a film producer and free-lance writer based in Chicago.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail