In These Times report: Despite the outcome, the exit polls were right
On Nov. 2, exit polls predicted that Sen. John Kerry would win the 2004 presidential election by 5 million votes but according to the official vote count, Bush won the election by 3 million votes. In “A Corrupted Election,” Steve Freeman, a faculty member of the Center for Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania and Josh Mitteldorf, a teacher of statistics at Temple University, examine the explanations for this discrepancy provided by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, the two companies that conducted the polls. They write, “The thesis of the Mitofsky/Edison exit poll report and the headlines that it generated are curiously detached from the numbers in the report itself. Statisticians who have studied the exit polls find substantial evidence to support the thesis that the vote counts—not the exit polls—were inaccurate.”
Other stories from this In These Times:
David Lindorff reports on why President George Bush is racing to privatize social security in “Beating the Boomers.” Lindorff begins by exposing the White House’s miscalculations and misstatements on the projected demise of social security. If these predictions aren’t true, Lindorff asks, what are their real motivations for overhauling social security? “They understand that the Baby Boom generation, as it approaches retirement, poses a crisis—not for Social Security, but for their political agenda,” he writes.
In “The Midwest Union Rollback,” David Bacon reports that newly elected Republican Govs. Matt Blunt and Mitch Daniels are taking a cue from the Bush administration’s efforts to roll back federal worker’s union rights and have rescinded collective bargaining agreements for state employees. While overall union membership has been declining over the past years, unions that represent public employees have grown. In Missouri, Blunt reversed collective bargaining rights that had only been in effect since 2001, and voiding rights won by 9,000 state employees. And though Daniels did not make it an issue during his campaign, upon taking office as Indiana governor, he immediately voided all bargaining agreements, including issues of vacation, seniority rights, job training, education and wages.