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.

Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail