NEWS5 October 2012

US broadcasters drop 19 states from exit poll coverage

Government North America

US— A consortium of US broadcasters and news wire service The Associated Press have opted to run exit polls in just 31 of the 50 US states ahead of next month’s presidential election, as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

According to a story on the Washington Post’s The Fix blog, the National Election Pool, the consortium that sponsors surveys of voters across the country, has decided to eliminate state-wide exit polls in 19 states deemed not competitive at the presidential level.

The states eliminated from the exit poll are Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Dan Merkle, director of elections for ABC News, told The Fix that the move was driven by mounting survey costs but the broadcaster hopes “to still deliver a quality product in the most important states”. The 50 state-wide exit polls have been a staple of US election coverage since 1992.