'Even Our Own Exit Polls, Taken as People Came Out of Voting, Showed Him Ahead'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008, 2:47am PT  

Even the Exit Polls showed that Obama should have won, according to Chris Matthews on Hardball today. It's the first specific indication that we've seen that the raw, unadjusted Exit Poll data, which only corporate mainstream media folks, not mere mortals, are allowed to see, confirmed pre-election polling which predicted an Obama win.

He introduced his segment today this way (video at right):

MATTHEWS: So what accounts for Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire? What we don't know is why the victory is so much different in fact, than the polling ahead of time, including what we call the Exit Polls were telling us. Obama was ahead in those polls by an average of 8 points, and even our own Exit Polls, taken as people came out of voting, showed him ahead. So what's going on here?

Good question. And one that we asked, verbatim, all night long last night.

"Why were the polls taken, of people coming out of the booth, so off?," Matthews tries to ask his guests again and again. And again.

All of them twisted and turned and contorted and grappled and speculated, coming up with every possible unverifiable, backwards-engineered explanation, save for the one that must not be named. The 600 lb. canary in the virtual living room...the fact that no human being has bothered to check what was actually on NH's vast majority of ballots (80%) which were "counted" by error-prone, hackable Diebold optical-scan machines, all controlled by one bad, horribly irresponsible private company, who has no business being anywhere near a public election...

We've yet to see that raw Exit data ourselves, as mentioned. But we're working on it. Even while we're still working on getting the never-released raw data from 2004, when the Exit Polls were done then, as now, by Mitofsky/Edison.

(BTW: They disavow their own Exit Polling from 2004. So, naturally, the MSM news consortium hired the same folks to do the job again in 2008. Perhaps it was the company's apparently spot-on Exit Polling in Ukraine, in December of 2004, cited as evidence of fraud by George W. Bush and Colin Powell, that the challenger should have won, rather than the incumbant, as the election results announced, in contradiction of the Exit Polls...but don't get us started.)

And yet, as all the talking heads continue to use data from those post-election-adjusted Exit Polls, as speculative reasons why Clinton was announced the winner ("higher than expected female turnout" "voters who make less than $50k"), Politico's Roger Simon, at the end of the Hardball segment, asks the question about NH '08, that we've been asking about 2004 for years: "If the exit polls got the results wrong, why do we think they got the demographics right?"

Did anything go wrong in New Hampshire? Who knows? The Pre-Election Polling indicates it may have. The unadjusted Exit Polling, at least according to Matthews, indicates may have. But until we realize we need to actually count ballots --- openly and transparently --- in our American elections, we expect these same questions and nightmares will continue, over and over and over, for a very long time to come...

(Hat-tip Alan Breslauer for the video)

CLARIFICATION: We originally had reported that Matthews indicated Obama was ahead by 8 points in the raw Exit Poll data he claims to have seen during Primary Day. A closer look at the video indicates that the "8 points" comments may not have been in regard to the Exit data, but rather the pre-election polling. We've changed the sub-headline of the item to remove that indication, since the statement in the video is not crystal-clear on that issue. Nonetheless, as the video shows, Matthews clearly believes that MSNBC's Exit data showed a "significant victory" for Obama, as based on polling of voters as they came out of the polling place and stated repeated by him. We have had other indications, from independent sources, confirming similar information, that Obama was leading, according to the raw Exit Poll data during the day. We are still working on being able to bring some of that to you. Stay tuned...