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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Once Again on the 2004 NEP Exit Poll

Still not tired of the controversies that have swirled around the 2004 NEP exit poll? You’re in luck. There’s a new report out from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), “A Review of Recent Controversies Concerning the 2004 Presidential Election Exit Polls“, authored by political scientists Michael Traugott, Benjamin Highton and Henry Brady, that does a fine job of summarizing these controversies and relating them to the recent history and key methodological issues of exit polling.
The paper does a particularly good job of explaining the mechanics of how the 2004 exit poll was conducted and connecting those mechanics to the subsequent controversies that erupted. Indeed, the report is much, much clearer about all this than the rather arcane 77 page evaluation report issued by Edison/Mitofsky on the 2004 NEP poll. And it’s a hell of a lot shorter: just 18 pages.
So, if you never got through the Edison/Mitofsky report (which I suspect includes almost everybody reading these words) give yourself a break and read the SSRC report instead. That’ll give you the big picture and I suspect for most readers that’ll be enough.