Early Indiana Exit Polls and Results

Here’s what’s happening with early Indiana exit polls:

Polls in the Western half of the state don’t close for another twenty minutes so the major outlets aren’t releasing them online yet. But some T.V. stations have announced a 12% Sanders lead and HuffPo obtained a copy of the same results.

Contrary to what you’ve been hearing, exit polls are correct 19 times out of 20 within the margin of error. Except this year. And only on the Democratic side. There they’ve been outside the margin of error nine times out of twenty-three for the primaries. (There were also two entrance polls for Nevada and Iowa.) And all the misses have ultimately seen Clinton as the one who outperforms what the Exit Polls say. Big.

So, of course, lots of people are watching like a hawk to see what happens. The earliest results aren’t likely indicative, however. Yes, early voting (before election day) is up in Indiana this year by about 50%, but it is still likely to make up less than 10% of the vote on the Democratic side. In 2008, Clinton versus Obama saw about 1,275,000 votes; there were less than 100,000 early ballots cast by democrats this year. So even if turnout is down by 20% overall (as it has been in some states, but not recently … Wisconsin was down by 10% or so, New York not at all), and even if early voters went for Clinton 65-35 (unusually high) and aren’t counted in Exit Polls, that would still only move them by 3% or less.

So sit tight.

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