Huge exit poll disaster for all the networks in Wisconsin
Exit polls showed a tie. They had Walker up 13 among men, and Barrett up 12 among women, with slightly more women voters, right after polls closed. I was getting nervous.
I think Walker may wind up winning by more than ten points. That is a huge miss for exit pollsters. One little known Illinois pollster, We Ask America, had Walker up 12 with big survey done on Sunday, over 1,000 voters. Nate Silver of the New York Times was skeptical of their numbers. PPP, a Dem pollster, had it as a 3 point race the same day. Their numbers have been very favorable to Obama in every state.
I bet Axelrod, Messina, and Plouffe are looking at some of the state polls this morning a bit differently. The Obama campaign is putting out the story that in exit polls, Obama beat Romney by 11. And if the exit polls are wrong by ten points or more, what then?
Dems are of course blaming Citizens United and a funding imbalance, but it looks like Walker pulled away a while back. People were sick of all the new elections, I think. Very important is that it was not only money but very strong GOP ground game. The Tea party and its allies fought hard and well. This is very encouraging.
The RNC head, Reince Priebus, is a very capable guy. They will use this model elsewhere, where they need to play catch-up to early Obama organizing efforts.
Thomas Lifson adds:
It appears that Walker supporters were far less likely to talk to exit pollers than Barrett supporters. This is partly because conservatives distrust the media, but it also indicates the the unions and their recall allies have used intimidation to mixed effect. They may have actually driven turnout for Walker by angering people in the middle.