My guest today is David Moore, a senior fellow with the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire and former vice president of the Gallup Organization and managing editor of the Gallup Poll. As the current polling director at iMediaEthics, where he recently wrote the piece "Why the Exit Polls Sow Doubt About the Vote Count,"
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, David. This was another historic presidential election. Many voters continue to express doubts about the legitimacy of the official results. Is that simply a case of sour grapes on the part of half of our increasingly polarized electorate?
David Moore: Thanks, Joan, for your invitation to discuss the election results. In any election, there are always some people who won't accept the results regardless of the margin of victory. But I think there is reason in this election to at least audit the results. I don't believe that there is proof that the vote count was manipulated, but I do think there are enough oddities that suggest it's worthwhile to verify the vote count.
JB: This afternoon, we heard that Jill Stein and the Green Party are requesting an audit for Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. They're raising money right now in order to pull it off. Why those three states? What happened there?
DM: The basic reason for focusing on those three states is that the pre-election polls, and the early exit polls, suggested Clinton would win those states. Also, Trump's lead is less than one percent in Wisconsin and Michigan, and just over one percent in Pennsylvania. If Clinton had won those states, she would be the winner of the electoral vote as well as the popular vote, which now shows her beating Trump by close to two million votes (about 1.5% of the total).
JB: How valuable are pre-election and exit polls as predictors? To say the least, they don't seem to have been working really well in this and the past several elections.
DM: Pre-election polls have suffered a recent series of bad experiences, but not in the U.S. presidential races. Nate Silver's fivethirtyeight.com website aggregates state and national polls, to come up with a prediction of the overall winner. In 2012, he correctly predicted the winner in all 50 states and D.C., and in 2008 he correctly predicted all states but Indiana and one district in Nebraska.
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