Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


The discrepency in the exit poll data from Election 2004 has never been fully explained. I tend to be a skeptic on stories like this one, but having studied statistics, I would like to learn more about the data under scrutiny here.

This group, USCountVotes, looked at the exit poll results taken throughout Election Day by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. The exit polls indicated that Democratic nominee John Kerry would win by 3% of the popular vote. Nevertheless, George W. Bush officially won the national popular vote by 2.5%. This type of discrepancy is the largest to ever occur in a presidential election. Exit polls are conducted with those who have just voted—they are not a sampling of “probable” or “eligible” voters before the election.

“On the surface, it sounds unbelievable,” said Bruce O’Dell, vice president of USCountVotes, of the possibility of fraudulent election results. “But the more you look, the more you will be concerned.”


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