Beware of exit polls

Although I'm sure this warning is unnecessary for most of you, there still might be some who will see the "leaked" partial exit polls this afternoon and actually believe them.

Rasmussen warns "pay them no mind:"

Democrats still ache over Election Day 2004 when exit polling showed John Kerry about to become the next president of the United States. The only problem was that the actual vote count put George W. Bush back in the White House for four more years.

And that came just four years after the disastrous exit polling in 2000, when the race on Election Night was called first for Al Gore, then for Bush and then at 4 a.m. was declared “too close to call.”
Many voters wonder why they can’t ever seem to get it right?

Part of the frustration may stem from the fact that the primary value of exit polling is to help us understand why people voted the way they did. This is an entirely different task than trying to predict a winner for Internet junkies who can’t wait a few more hours until actual votes are counted.

Reviewing Fox News/Rasmussen Reports data from key battleground states raises a couple red flags about the use of early exit polling data to predict a winner. Understanding this data from polling conducted last Sunday night may save some a repeat of 2004’s heartache.

In other words, if you haven't voted, go out and vote.

The exit polls from 2004 showed Bush losing Virginia - a state he carried by 10 points while indicating a 16 point win for Kerry in Pennsylvania, a state the Democrat carried by 3.

Listen to the best pollster in the business and ignore what you hear.