Monday, January 14, 2008

When Exit Polls Matter.

Exit polls seem a lot more important when you're looking at some other country's elections.

The Washington-based International Republican Institute conducted exit polls that are said to show that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki suffered a resounding defeat in last month's disputed election. From McClatchey Newspapers:

"Opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kibaki by roughly 8 percentage points in the poll, which surveyed voters as they left polling places during the election Dec. 27, according to one senior Western official who's seen the data, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. That's a sharp departure from the results that Kenyan election officials certified, which gave Kibaki a winning margin of 231,728 votes over Odinga, about 3 percentage points.
U.S. and European observers have criticized the official results, which came after long, unexplained delays in counting the votes, primarily from Kibaki strongholds. Jendayi Frazer, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said over the weekend that there were "serious irregularities in the vote tallying, which made it impossible to determine with certainty the final result."

It wasn't clear why the International Republican Institute — which has conducted opinion polls and observed elections in Kenya since 1992 — isn't releasing its data. A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kenya confirmed that a poll was conducted but referred questions to the institute, where officials couldn't be reached for comment."

It isn't clear why the International Republican Institute isn't releasing its data? Maybe if they did, John Kerry would have to finish out the remaining 11-months of the term of office that he won, according to exit polls, in 2004.


Anonymous said...

WOW ! ODM/Raila Odinga propaganda at its best - let me refresh memories for a moment .News reports reporting election day exit polls- By American pollsters In kenya on election day said different -Raila and his British backers and they are behind the propaganda campaign against Kikuyus and kibaki . Ever since kikuyu recaptured power british firms have lost out on government contracts

Here is a brief sample of what they would not like you to see or read reports on election day that showed Kibaki leads in Exit polls. As reported…

So As a kenyan and a kibaki supporter my question is where were this exit polls on election day . Isnt it funny that exit polls showing Kibaki lost showed up when the election dispute has been going on for almost three weeks .But on the day exit polls were conducted and before the dispute all wire services and pollster said Kibaki won. why were this exit not released before the vote counting or before the dispute. like other exit polls

P.S Not to rub it in for all pro ODM Bloggers and press didn’t exit polls show Barack Obama winning NH .Yet the results showed different-Exit polls of kibaki of a kibaki win or loss dont show anything .Kenyans voted for kibaki

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am not familiar with what happened in Kenya but the thought of double standard in exit poll have been on my mind since Bush won against Kerry and I recall that event again after reading about some voting machine discrepancy in New Hampshire few days ago. Also how Obama was shown winning in exit polls. The media was at a lost to explain how they got it wrong. They were coming up with all sorts of reasons to explain it. So I wrote similar comparison in my blog between the previous U.S. election and Ukraine. Something is definitely amiss.

The Mound of Sound said...

I have doubts about the reliability of exit polls. They assume that a representative sample of voters will respond and that their responses will be truthful. The way I was brought up, if some stranger asked me how I'd just voted, my instinctive reply would be "none of your damned business." I wonder whether there is some demographic for my kind. Are we liberals or conservatives or a mix of both? How does our refusal skew exit polls. Also, how many people just say what they think the interviewer wants to hear? There are so many "ifs" to exit polling that I find it hard to place any great faith in them.