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Election 2004 - "Exit-Poll Disinformation Hoax Backfires?" Part I
Manipulated Exit-Poll Data for Lethal Affect on Republican Voter Turnout - January 2005

Election 2000 and 2004 Fiascos Linked

y Col. John H. Wambough, Jr. USAF (Ret.) -

Election Reform: Count Votes - No More Winner Projections by Democrat Manipulated Exit Polls  

Permanent Link:  http://WrennCom.Com/CommentaryArchives/2005/20y05m01d07-01.asp.

[January 7, 2005]


Col. John H. Wambough, Jr

         USAF (Ret.)

Election 2000 and 2004 Fiascos Linked - Election 2000 is the starting point for understanding the scandalous exit-polling fiasco of Election 2004. In a joint venture, ABC, AP, CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC hired Voters News Service (VNS) to conduct exit polling during Election 2000VNS produced misleading exit-poll data that the National Networks then used to justify calling Al Gore both winner of the election in Florida and winner of the National Election.  In Election 2002, the VNS computer system malfunctioned but not before "early" exit polls incorrectly forecasted Democrat candidate landslides. The Networks then terminated VNS and established the National Election Pool (NEP) consortium to provide tabulated vote counts and exit-poll surveys for Election 2004. This consortium appointed Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International as sole providers of exit-polls.  Associated Press' role was to tally the vote. 


Shortly after 1pm on Election Day the National Networks’ raw exit-poll data was posted on the Internet showing Kerry winning the National Election in a landslide. From the standpoint of the American voter, this data was projecting / forecasting / indicating the winner of the National Election and it was doing so before a single poll had closed in any state.  Stringent Network standards for projecting or calling a state over the national airways mean little when the Internet is used as an alternative avenue for subverting the electoral process. 


In 2000, 2002 and 2004, misleading exit-poll data (disinformation) proved counterproductive to fair elections for the Republican Party, interfered with and recklessly endangered the electoral process, produced an environment of animosity and resentment, and subverted the legitimacy of our national election process. Presidential elections are too important to our system of government to risk future exit-poll fiascos. The practice of indicating winners using manipulated exit-poll data must be terminated now; this practice has already done great damage in Elections 2000 and 2004; why risk catastrophic damage in future elections?


I live in the Panhandle of Northwest Florida where Democrats and Republicans in Presidential elections tend to vote Republican. In 2000 the ratio was 2:1 and 2004, 3:1. In Election 2000, with a voting ratio strongly favoring George W. Bush (GWB), announcements were made by the National Networks that stopped or curtailed voting in the Florida Panhandle. The National Networks helped the Democrat Party at a critical point on Election Day by: (1) Declaring the polls closed all across the state of Florida when in fact there was still a full crucial hour of voting left in the Panhandle and (2) Declaring Al Gore winner of the state and national election before Florida polls closed. 

  • Given the closeness of the election, these inappropriate network announcements could have resulted in an Al Gore Presidency. Both of these declarations were made under dubious circumstances: (1) Florida 's Secretary of State reminded the National Networks one week prior to the election that the polls in Florida 's Central Time Zone did not close until 8 pm EST and (2) Pre-election polling and actual voting indicated an extremely tight race, one too close to call. There was no “ethical” way either Presidential candidate could be declared winner of Election 2000 without a total vote count. 
  • National Network disinformation tactics (telling the public the polls were closed when they weren’t and telling the public that Al Gore had won the election when he didn’t) proved highly effective in curtailing Florida voting in Election 2000. Many citizens of the Florida Panhandle know voters who chose not to vote once the networks (CBS in particular) announced that all Florida polls were closed and that Al Gore had won  Florida and therefore the National Election. According to the Clerk for Elections, Okaloosa County, Florida: "In past elections, there was usually a rush of people coming from work, trying to get to vote before the polls closed"  Soon after 6 p.m. in the Central Time Zone, voting volume dropped almost to zero in 361 polling places in the Panhandle. 
  • The beneficiary of the Network announcements (polls closed - Al Gore winner) was the Democrat Party. See "Committee for Honest Politics” testimony before the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. With Dan Rather, "CBS, for example, made at least 13 explicit statements during the hour that the Florida polls were closed, a number which increases to 18 if the statements calling Florida for Gore are included. Moreover, CBS made more than 15 additional statements implying that the polls were closed ..."  "With the exception of Fox, all other networks repeated the poll closing information throughout the 7 p.m. hour broadcast." Suggest Reading Exit Polls Need More Than a Makeover” By Dr. David Hill
  • Given the 2:1 vote advantage of Bush over Gore in the Panhandle, the minimum effect was “loss of 12,761 votes for the Bush campaign.”
  • Nationally, the loss of votes by the Bush campaign probably was very significant (nationwide) in that the retraction announcement that Al Gore hadn't won the state of Florida / National Election was not made until 10pm EST - just in time for the polls to close on the West Coast (7pm PST).  This is Republican voter suppression at its best; compliments of the National Networks, VNS, and the Election Decision Team of Mitofsky and Lenski. Without the National Networks’ voter suppression tactics in Election 2000, GWB may have won both Florida and the National popular vote by enough of a margin to obliterate the election legitimacy issue.   

During Election 2000, I was naďve about how far the National Networks would be willing to go to help a Democrat get in the White House. I had viewed the actions taken by the National Networks (undermining GWB during Election 2000) as “possibly” honest mistakes. Not until Dan Rather’s CBS fraudulent memos scandal, the 380 Tons of RDX and HMX Missing Hoax, and finally the Election 2004 exit-poll fiasco did it become comprehensible that some members of the National Networks' consortium were using the exit-poll system to help Democrats win Presidential Elections.  In 2000, the Networks used the broadcast Airways to influence Election Day voting in favor of Gore and in 2004 they used the Internet to influence Election Day voting behavior in favor of Kerry.  In future elections, recommend we bypass the National Networks' manipulated exit polls and rely on actual vote counts - no more winner projections.