ExitPoll Mess - 2008 The Past is Prolog

Exit Poll Mess - 2008

Opposing the Ohio electors
Capitol Hill, Jan. 6, 2005
Michael Collins cc

The Past is Prolog

Michael Collins

(Wash. DC)  Did you know that 2004 was not a "red versus blue" election?  Did any analysis that you heard or read mention that the very red rural voting segment went from 23% of the vote total in 2000 to 16% in 2004?  How about the 2.4 million fewer votes Bush received in the smaller 2004 rural segment than in 2000?  All of this showed up in the exit polls on Election Day and the day after when the "official" exit poll was released.

The national exit polls are sponsored by the National Election Pool (media consortium) consisting of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NBC, and the Associated Press.  The polling is conducted for the media consortium by Edison - Mitofsky.  The same day poll for federal elections seeks to capture who voted, where, and why.*

The exit poll gave us another surprise, one that was necessary for the poll to match up with the announced vote totals showing Bush winning by a 3 million vote margin, 50.7% to 48.3%.

2004 turnout across the country ran about 16% over 2000.  The big cities had a 66% increase in turnout if we are to believe the exit polls.  In the exit poll analysis, big cities are those with half a million or greater population.  That 66% increase in turnout took the 9 million big city vote total from 2000 to 15 million in 2004.  Bush got just under 4 million more votes in the big cities in 2004 that he did in 2000.  White big city voters went from 5 million in 2000 to nine million in 2004, a remarkable 80% increase

Do you believe this?  Nearly 4 million new votes for Bush in the big cities in 2004!

What was going on?  Who were these nearly 4.0 million new white big city voters and where did they come from?  They were white "ghosts" who emerged from that 66% turnout "measured" by the exit poll, marching toward the polls like extras in the "Thriller" video.  That's the only place they could have come from because they've never been seen before or since.

They were a necessary fiction required to balance out the official exit poll and allow it to be "adjusted" to fit the final vote count.  Given the 16% turnout increase for the nation, isn't it reasonable to assume something proximate in the big cities?  But that's not what happened.  The turnout increase in the big cities was beyond belief but barely noticed.

The 2000 Democrat - Republican big city split of 71% to 26% was comparable to the history of big city party preferences in presidential elections.  But in 2004, that changed to 60% Democrat - 39% Republican with Bush more than doubling his 2000 vote.  Is there some event that explains that this sudden spike in Bush votes and turnout in the big cities?

The only event that caused this was the internal adjustment of big city exit poll figures and percentages by the media consortium sponsored exit pollsters.

The exit poll had to match the vote count?

How could the vote count be wrong?

Go looking for actual big city vote totals and you're likely to hear that they're really not possible to break out since votes are counted by the counties.  That's correct for 40% of the big city population but for 60%, you can get discrete big city totals.  You just go to state and city boards of elections web sites and read the totals.  When you do that for the majority of big city voting, guess what?  The 2004 big city turnout increase was only 13% over that of 2000

Actual Big City Voting Totals for 2000 and 2004

From state and local board of elections data (see footnotes)

This 66% turnout increase and all those white "ghosts" made a real difference in how the exit polls explained the 2004 election results.

Comparison of 2004 big city totals using the pollsters 66%
and 13% based on the 60% sample of actual big city results

Using the 2000 big city vote total from that exit poll, we start with 9.2 million votes.  The 66% turnout increase gives Bush nearly 5 million more votes compared to the actual figure of a 13% increase in big city turnout.  That's what allowed Bush to "win it" in the big cities.

Why did the exit pollsters use 66% when the actual vote totals in the chart above were available election night or the next day?  All the media consortium's pollsters had to do was get on the internet or turn on the television in the New York City area to get a turnout sample from a city of 8 million people.  In fact, all the network consortium had to do was call up a few of their affiliates in the big cities listed above.

All of this was pointed out in considerable detail in two articles in 2007 (see links below).  Since that time, have the exit pollsters and the media consortium changed their final poll to correct the clearly demonstrated error in big city turnout for 2004?  Have they apologized to the public for this obviously inaccurate finding?  Of course not.  Had they done so, they would have demonstrated that the 13,000 plus national sample on Election Day confounded the reported results of the election.

It would have been a bold statement that there something very wrong with the 2004 election results, i.e., the election was almost certainly stolen.

Don't bet on the exit polls to do anything other than ratify an election based on deliberate discrimination that systematically eliminates poor and minority voters, flawed voting machines subject to tampering, and vote counting that takes place in secret, conducted by private vendors with strong Republican sympathies.


Permission to reproduce part of this entire article granted with attribution of authorship, a link to this article, and acknowledgement of images, where indicated.

* This analysis uses data from the final revised national exit poll issued the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2004.  The first graph and other figures presented come from the 2000 and 2004 national exit poll, with the exception of the chart of the actual vote counts in the 13 big cities listed.  The sources for those figures are indicated in the footnotes section of "Election 2004:  The Urban Legend."

N.B. This article is a summary of "Election 2004:  The Urban Legend" by the author, based on original research by internet poster anaxarchos, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude.

For the whole story, see:

Election 2004:  The Urban Legend, Michael Collins July 13, 2007

Notes from the Underground, Michael Collins Aug. 22, 2007




No votes yet


It will be interesting to see how it turns out in the 2008 election.

When this came out in 2007, the usual cast of naysayers gathered and tried to dispute the point of the article, Election 2004:  The Urban Legend.  They wasted their time because this is straight from the exit poll, produced for the media consortium.

Will they do it again?  If they need to.  I think that there's consensus among the media ownership that a) McCain - Palin are certifiable screwballs and b) the assets of the wealth cannot survive another enabled looting.  Therefore, it's hands off on stealing this one.

Sad but true, we live in a fabricated environment where the very worst fraud in the election is the complete absence of any issues that truly bear on the future of the nation.

But then again, I'm an optimist.  It's probably much worse;)

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton


there something very wrong with the 2004 election results, i.e., the election was almost certainly stolen.”

(I apologise that I still cannot get the site to accept straight forward formatting of posts transferred from MS Word.I will published my comment in full on http://onlyinamericanpolitics.blogspot.com/  - Only In American Politics ).





By all means let us maintain scrutiny, but let us not do so in a way that distracts from the far more interesting area of voter suppression, which I believe is of far greater importance in the outcome of US elections.


With a real interest and aptitude for statistical analysis, she became intrigued by the work being undertaken on Daily Kos. Many of the posts, that included voluminous graphs and tables, were being questioned by a few at a time when the “gestalt” on the site was to support the overwhelming desire to prove that the election was stolen.

So began our contributor’s work. Her background was a bit different from the main contributors to our site. Unlike us, she was not a Liberal Democrat but a member of the Labour Party, despite her disgust with Blair and what she saw as his betrayal of the principles of socialism with she had first become attracted to what became known in the UK as “Old Labour”.

Not surprisingly, her motivation was prove that those who doubted the worrying evidence of manipulation of the election results in Ohio provided by the exit polls were wrong to do so.

The intensity of her work increased as she found the material far more complex than she had originally supposed. Of even greater concern to her, it pointed to a different conclusion than that which she had originally set out to prove.

At that point, she felt it important that her work was capable of serious academic review, as it would undoubtedly be challenged. As a consequence, she developed what had originally been intended as a detailed diary into a full and lengthy thesis. Despite it formality, Marcos agreed that it was published simultaneously on New International Times and Daily Kos.

She was right that her work would come under exacting scrutiny. It was picked up by academia in the United States and underwent the severest of peer review. It withstood the harshest of these critical examination by others, peer reviews that at times placed her under considerable personal stress.

The final outcome was that she was invited as a speaker to the main post-election conference of those who are expert in the disciplined analysis of polling data in the States and became a paid researcher in the research team of a Professor of one of your leading universities who specialises in this subject.

I am not a statistician, nor would I pretend to have the knowledge to contribute seriously on the subject of the apparent anomalies between exit polls and results. I do know the honesty of the person who began the first really serious analysis of the 2004 exit poll data, know her original intentions and know the integrity with which she brought to her work that led to her conclusions that did not fit well with her political leanings nor her original intentions.

Four years on, I have difficulty in awakening further interest in this subject. It is, of course, right that bloggers continue to raise questions for which they feel they do not have the answers. To raise those questions, however, is not to produce proof capable of rigorous scrutiny and to contend that this is clear and irrefutable evidence of the claims of this writer to support the statement with which he apparently concurs that “…

Because of the behaviour of the site formatting, the title to my post appears to state that the conclusion that the elections were stolen is shared by me.  This is the reverse of what my response was about. By some mechanism it has lifted part of a quotation by the author and converted into a run on as if it was its introductory sentence. Even mre strange, the result appears to make sense, although the opposite of what I intended.

This is unacceptable. i would be gratefiul if the post could be removed.

That's clear since you didn't bother to note the main point, the clear evidence that cannot be challenged because it's right there in plain site, in the official, final exit poll for 2004:

2004 saw a 66% increase in big city turnout compared to 2000</b>

White voters in big cities went from 5.0 million in 2000 to 9.0 million in 2004.

2004 final exit poll results

What was so difficult about grasping that fact, plain and simple.  The article presents statistical results using the official final exit poll.  This is not an extrapolation.  It's not a theory.  It's what the exit pollsters had to do - adjust the big city data to match exit poll results.

That manifest process argues strongly for a disiparity between the exit poll, had it used the real turnout figures for big cities of 13% and the contrived 66% which they had to know was wrong.

The reported results made so little sense, the pollsters had to fix the poll in ridiculous proportions to justify a Bush victory.

Your blog post is equals this comment in incoherrence and fails to address any specific point I made.

You have no apparent argument, which makeks me wonder why you even bothered to reply.

If you're serious, read these two extended analyses and comment.

Election 2004:  The Urban Legend, June 2007

Notes from the Underground, Aug, 2007

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

I am sorry if you feel that your commentary is unfairly criticised.

I was not disputing the statistics that you quote. I do not have a basis for challenging the accuracy of these or reason to do so. I am only disputing the conclusion reached, with the suggestion that your argument after the starting point and leading to the conclusion is not supported.

The references that you supply are to your own work and these contain in turn mainly references to raw data published by government and state departments. They do not look at the formal research subsequently undertaken that has examined various apparent anomalies in this prime source information.

You make your final statement in contradiction to what I understand is a vast array of reputably published academic work not quoted by you which examines the inter-relationship between the actual results and the exit polls in 2004 and which found no real material to support the view that the Ohio election was provable by statistical evidence to have been stolen.

I have said that I am not a statistical expert and have relied for my opinion on the work of a trusted colleague, in whose motivation and integrity I hve confidence. I could, of course be wrong. If your evidence is so incontrovertible and irrefutable,then I suggest you submit this to your Congressional representatives so they can take appropriate action over a charge as serious as the one you make. No nation would sit happily with an irrefutable claim that its ballot procedures were so corrupt.

I fear that their response will be the same as mine: you raise some interesting questions but not verified answers. This I do not criticise. Such questions raised on the Internet are now a vital part of the safeguards of our democracy.

We are happily in agreement about the incoherence of my post! I appreciate your struggling through it!

I never said anything about your post being  'incoherrent."  I read your post at your blog.  As for your other points, they're addressed below.

You said:

"The references that you supply are to your own work and these contain in turn mainly references to raw data published by government and state departments. They do not look at the formal research subsequently undertaken that has examined various apparent anomalies in this prime source information."

There's no formal research on this because the phonomena was first noticed by my partner in this project and first published by me in 2007.  There is no question that the discussion of the statistics is correct.  These are simple cross tabulations.  I'm aware of the internet researchers and academics who do quite remarkable research in debating  the statistical and methematical models for anlayzing this data.  There's no reference to them because they're not considering this most remarkable set of assumptions by the exit pollsters.  They didn't notice it.  We did and we wrote about it.  If they're not asking questions, that's a comment on their thoroughness.

You mention "academic work not quoted by you"

As I pointed out above, this is original research.  No one noticd it, although it's sitting right there and very, very odd.  I don't particularly care if they quote us or not.  This is an argument for sensible peole who have a basic understanding of math and the real world.  Elections are far too imiportant to be refereed and determined by academic reference.  The same goes for computerized voting.  The more complex a subject, the further it is from public access it is. 

You said,

"If your evidence is so incontrovertible and irrefutable,then I suggest you submit this to your Congressional representatives so they can take appropriate action"

Congress passed the Iraq War resolution based on a set of lies and then later discovered that the Bush administration doctored intelligence analysis from the CIA to say exactly the opposite of what the CIA said (the only likelyhood of Saddam Hussein attacking the United States would come if he were attacked and felt his survival threatened).  Congress did nothing when they discovered that.  Besides, Urban Legend and Notes have been sent to Members of Congress on repeated occasions.  If they won't do a single thing about deliberate lies by the executive, why should they care about this.

The ultimate argument, clearly stated in Urban Legend is this:  it's inconcievable to argue that an incumbent president who lost a great deal of strength in his base constituiency, the red rural voting segment, turned around and doubled his votes in a voting segment hostile to him, the big city segment.  It had never happened until 2004 but, in that election, the strange and false numbers appeared -- the 66% increase in big city turnout and those 4.0 million new white ghost voters.  Those numbers tied up the exit poll in a neat package to support the reported vote count. 

The exit pollsters and their patrons who actually own the data refused to share theier raw data with Repr. John Conyers (D, OH) and other legislators who formally requested the data.  They refused to share it with academics who requested it - a common courtesy in the academic community.  They had a good reason not to share this.  It would have had a devastating effect on the poll in the future (our research had not been published at that time).

So when does your friend (presumably "incontrovertable") show up?

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton

"Furthest from him is best, whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals." Milton