After the disaster that was the 2016 exit polling, The Associated Press said Tuesday that it would begin conducting an elaborate election voter survey designed to replace the traditional in-person exit poll, which has been criticized in recent years for inaccuracy and failing to keep up with changes in how Americans vote.
AP is convinced that science is on its side. Still, it’s a bold and potentially risky move for the news cooperative, which counts political coverage as a strong suit and which has, until recently, pooled resources with ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to conduct exit polling in major elections.
AP has been concerned about the accuracy of in-person exit polls for the past several years, said Sally Buzbee, the news agency’s executive editor. On election night in 2016, when she was then serving as AP’s Washington bureau chief, she directed that only actual results be used to declare winners after exit poll results varied widely from actual vote returns.
This is a move in the right direction. Hopefully, the major networks will see we want accuracy and if they keep driving us away then it won’t be long before they are replaced.
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