Matt Drudge is reporting that Senator John Kerry leads Senator John Edwards by 42%-31% in the network exit poll of Democratic primary voters in Wisconsin. Howard Dean is said to be lagging at 16%. You can almost hear the media buzz that is building. Finally, the mano-a-mano battle is at hand. Most of the commentary you will hear this evening will revolve around an Edwards surge (and the dismissal of Dean). Which is nice because, as Mr. Kaus points out, that's what the media want.
But take it with at least a couple of grains of salt. This primary season, the exit poll numbers have been problematic in a number of states. And in a few states (most notably Tennessee) Senator Kerry has run well ahead of his mid-day exit poll numbers.
There's a theory in exit poll circles that candidates with the most enthusiastic supporters tend to do better in election day voter polls than they do when the actual votes are tallied. Why this should be, Ellisblog knows not. But it is the case that Howard Dean did a lot better in the New Hampshire exit poll than he did in real life. And the same was true of Edwards in the Tennessee exit poll. So while our friends in the liberal media (not that they're not objective!) get all worked up about an Edwards surge, keep your eye on the vote board.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Posted by John at 2/17/2004 04:50:00 PM