Why Does Fox Have Its Own Exit Polls?
With widespread concern over electronic voting this election and the multiple opportunities for GOP fraud, note that the TV networks have taken steps to deprive the public of exit polling information until well into Election Day.
The biggest behind-the-scenes change in network coverage involves what has been dubbed the Quarantine Room. Determined to avoid a rerun of recent years, when its exit polls leaked out by early afternoon to the Drudge Report, Slate and other Web sites, a media consortium is allowing two people from each of the networks and the Associated Press entree to a windowless room in New York. All cellphones, laptops and BlackBerrys will be confiscated. The designated staffers will pore over the exit polls but will not be allowed to communicate with their offices until 5 p.m.
The consortium, called the National Election Pool, is conducting no surveys for House races. The exit polling will take place for Senate and gubernatorial contests in 32 states with competitive races.
Unfortunately, the one outfit that has already manufactured its own version of reality to steer the storyline and send its flock to the polls is for some reason being allowed to have its own exit polls:
"It's going to be a long night," says Marty Ryan, executive producer at Fox News, which is doing some exit polling to supplement the network pool surveys. "House races are notoriously difficult to call. How do you call 50 House races? The fact of the matter is, you don't. You have to wait until a lot of returns are in."
Keep in mind Ryan isn't saying Fox would release its exit poll information, only that they will have their own polls to supplement the pool information. But what if Fox is the only network that will have House race exit polls? This arrangement would allow Fox apart from all others to have exit poll information available on House races hours before a race is called. Given our existing concerns about the GOP’s ability to move the numbers around in key races electronically, doesn’t allowing Fox to have its own exit polls send up a warning flare to anyone?