Press: Exit Frowning

Local officials were still sharpening pencils to tally results on election night when the networks started calling winners. ABC's analysts won the rush to judgment: they were first with projections in 33 races for Senator or Governor, vs. 17 for NBC and 16 for CBS. A crucial tool for the networks was the "exit poll" of randomly chosen voters at some ten to 75 precincts per state, for a total of up to 36,000 people per network. The technique was pioneered by CBS Pollster Warren Mitofsky in 1967; since the 1980 primaries it has been a favorite statistical gizmo of all...

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