After looking once more at the US election results and comparing it to the various exit polls released during the voting period, I started to think why they could be so different from the end result.
I hate exit polls. I hate the TV shows that purely exist just because of them.
But in saying that, I am interested in knowing just how ?my candidate? is doing.
We have had many elections in the UK that have gone completely against what the exit polls have claimed, and it appears to me that they are getting worse at predicting the correct results in anything but the safest seats.
In the case of the US election, did the exit poll canvassers only target those more likely to vote for Kerry?
Were they simply too embarrassed to admit that they had voted for Bush?
So much of the press was claiming that Bush was in severe doubt of winning the election. What would have happened if the press reported totally neutral views about the outcome? How many people voted for Kerry because they thought he was going to win anyway? (Who wants to vote for the loser?). How many people voted for Bush, because they thought everyone else was voting for Kerry anyway?
From the news coverage I saw in the UK, it did not appear to be very neutral, but then it didn?t have to be over here. Also, we only got the feeds from the main carriers (the CNN?s, ABC?s etc).
Instead of exit polls, we should have more television based at the polling areas. Make a game show out of it, hold a pop concert. Have a NASCAR meet with voting booths arranged around the track and you are guaranteed almost 360,000 voters will be there. Forget about exit polls; make it about getting the people to vote. Then televise the counting or the collation of the results. Make it like the lottery show, have the numbers adding up in real time in big lights as Terry Wogan and Gabby Roslin (UK now), present a series of soap actors doing amazing feats of embarrassing sketches etc whilst waiting for the half hourly update. You could have 60,000 Manchester United fans all voting at half time in the polling booth next to the dodgy hot dog stand. Have voting booths installed in all hair dressing salons and coffee shops up and down the high streets. Imagine Peter Snow with one of his fancy charts announcing the results have just come in from ?Di Angelo?s? Salon showing a ?swing? to the left.
Just get rid of the exit polls.