September 05, 2003

'02 Election Data Set for Public Release

"There's something rotten in the state of..." To
paraphrase Shakespeare, fill in the blank. Georgia,
Minnesota, etc. Exiting polling is actually one of the
most accurate resources we have...The exit polls in
Fraudida 2000 underscored Gore's victory in the state
(and thereby in the Electoral College -- if there had
not been a coup). That's something that is NOT
mentioned in this timid piece by the WASHPs. It is
also why *something happened* to the exiting polling
in 2004...The truth is that Cleland and probably
Mondale came out ahead in the votes that the voters
themselves thought they cast and therefore they would
have come out ahead in the exit polls...Ah, yes, but
unfortunately, something happened...

'02 Election Data Set for Public Release

By Richard Morin and Claudia Deane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, September 4, 2003; Page A06

The missing-in-action 2002 national exit poll data
have been given to the Roper Center for Public Opinion
Research for public release after a panel of academic
experts reviewed the survey and concluded the results
were reliable.

Voter News Service, composed of CBS, CNN, NBC, ABC,
Fox and the Associated Press, conducted the exit poll
on Election Day last year. But the survey findings
were never made public after a massive computer
collapse on election night prevented VNS from
tabulating the results -- a failure that led directly
to the demise of VNS.

Despite the Election Day meltdown, the 2002 results
have been eagerly sought by journalists and academics
seeking to resolve unanswered questions about the
election, including the impact of public worries about
terrorism and Iraq on the vote.

"We have the data for the national exit poll" and will
be releasing the information later this month, said
Richard Rockwell, executive director of the Roper
Center. The center, which is affiliated with the
University of Connecticut, is the country's leading
archive of survey data collected by academic, media
and commercial polling organizations, including The
Washington Post.

The 2002 exit poll data also were provided last week
to another archive at the University of Michigan.

The decision by the media partners to release the data
has not ended controversy over the troubled 2002 exit
poll. ABC News and Fox News will not be identified as
sources when the exit poll results are publicly
offered by the center. In meetings with the other
consortium members, both organizations had expressed
concern over the accuracy of the results and
questioned the value of releasing the survey data 10
months after Election Day, other consortium members

To resolve questions about the accuracy of the
results, the former VNS partners directed a panel of
academics to review the 2002 data.

"The 2002 data is of comparable utility and quality to
past VNS exit polls, and we recommend that it be
released for public use," the panel recently advised
the news organizations.

Lois Timms-Ferrara, associate director of the Roper
Center, said the data should be publicly available "in
a week or two. . . . We want our archivist to look it
over and make sure there is nothing problematic about

The data will be sold by the center -- "I hope for
less than $100," Timms-Ferrara said -- and made
available to paid subscribers to the center's online

2003 The Washington Post Company

Posted by richard at September 5, 2003 01:32 PM