Ap And Networks Cutting Back Exit Polling

The consortium formed by ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC and the AP to poll voters as they exit the voting booth on election night is cutting back this year, reflecting what the AP said was a growth in early voting and tough economy for the media. To offset a decrease of in-person exit poling, the AP said, the consortium plans to increase the amount of telephone polling. AP acknowledged that its previous system produced embarrassing results in 2000 and 2004. This year only bare-boned polling will be conducted in 19 non-battleground states (states that are regarded as a lock for one or the other candidate). That, it said, will allow enough voters to be polled in key states to help predict the outcome of races but not enough to draw narrative conclusions about the vote -- what issues mattered most to women voting for Mitt Romney, for instance, or how many Catholics voted for Barack Obama. Some states that may not be battlegrounds in the presidential balloting will get a full exit poll in cases where other important races are close -- such as Massachusetts, where the Senate race is close.



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