Exit Polls?

Drudge says that exit polls have Obama way ahead in Pennsylvania, but Gawker has alleged data for five swing states, including Pennsylvania, that are very tight, bad news for Obama if true.

Four years ago, I was in New York participating in NBC’s coverage of the election. I was at Rockefeller Center, sitting between Joe Trippi and Ana Marie Cox. Ana was getting exit polls leaked to her from the Democratic Party or someone, and was putting them up. Democrats everywhere were gleeful as they seemed to show John Kerry cruising to a big win.

As soon as actual vote totals started coming out, it became clear that the exit polls were completely bogus. Exit polls are unsystematic and essentially meaningless. Moreover, there are good reasons why they are likely to skew in favor of the Democratic candidate. Until actual vote totals start getting reported, we have absolutely nothing to go on.

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