Maggie: Elections produce more than just winners and losers. There are also plenty of results from exit polls. So, I came here to World Journalism Prep in Flushing, New York to find out what these polls are all about.
So, what is an exit poll?
Alexis: An exit poll is the background of the voters and their living situation and how they came to choose the candidate that they want for the president of the United States.
Maggie: These students decided to conduct their own election exit polls, asking voters who they voted for and why immediately after they cast their vote. This information helps show why a certain candidate won the race. And since voting is anonymous, exit polls are also used to see how demographics – things like age, gender and ethnicity – can play a part in the election.
So, why do you think conducting exit polls are so important?
Abigail: I think it is important because it gives you a clear understanding of what people care about and it also shows you why candidates campaign the way that they do.
Maggie: So what did the students find were the most important issues for voters in their exit polls.
Abigail: Most people actually chose the economy. The economy is in, actually, a very vulnerable position right now and a lot of people that’s their concern – lack of jobs.
Maggie: And after the economy?
Alexis: The main issue was the healthcare and how not a lot of people had it in the middle class.
Maggie: These are just some of the many big issues the county is facing over the next four years.
Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
- What is an exit poll?
- Why are exit polls important to the candidates and their parties?
- What kind of information is learned through exit polls?
- What did the students at World Journalism Prep learn from the exit polls they conducted?
- How did their exit polls match up with national findings?
- If you were part of an exit poll, what reasons would you give for choosing your candidate?