Election Day

Edison Research Provides National Exit Poll Data and Vote Count

With only one month to go until Election Day, Edison Research prepares a staff of 6,000 to tell the world who won, and why.

For the upcoming 2018 General Election, Edison Research will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.  In all, Edison will mobilize a trained staff of over 6,000, including exit poll interviewers, field supervisors, county vote reporters, data entry operators, and data analysts.  Edison’s survey team will interview over 100,000 voters as they leave polling places across the country.

As has been the case since 2004, Edison’s national exit poll will be the only one conducted in the United States.

This survey will provide vital information on voting trends, differences in vote patterns by gender, age, region, and other demographic and geographic groups.  These surveys will also provide analysis about the issues that drive American voters to make their choices.   Edison’s national exit poll will include voters from every state, while Edison’s state surveys will provide even more in-depth analysis of all the key U.S. Senate and Governors’ races.  In addition to its polling, Edison’s vote collectors will fan out across over 4,000 localities across all 50 states on Election Night, helping Edison provide accurate and timely vote returns to viewers across the country.

 

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (http://www.edisonresearch.com) conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institute, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio, and Univision Communications. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election.  Edison conducts more than 100,000 interviews in a single day for this project. For the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, and NBC News.

Rustavi 2 pic Republic of Georgia

Pre-Election Polling in the Republic of Georgia

By Nino Japaridze

In three weeks, voters will have an opportunity to elect the Republic of Georgia’s next President. Edison Research took a detailed look at the voter’s pre-election sentiment by surveying 3,000 eligible voters nationwide in September 2018. The survey was commissioned by Georgia’s leading independent national broadcaster, Rustavi 2.

There is no shortage of Presidential candidates to choose from: The names of twenty five registered candidates will appear on the ballot on October 28th.  There were twenty-one additional presidential hopefuls whose registration was denied by Georgia’s Central Electoral Commission.

Several clear themes emerged:

The vast majority of interviewed voters tell us they plan to perform their civic duty and turn out to vote: We discovered 64 percent of eligible voters “definitely” plan to vote during the upcoming Presidential election, with 23 percent who think they will “probably vote,” 9 percent report being less likely to vote, and 4 percent did not answer the question. Should this be surprising? If we look at the long-term trends, voter turnout during Georgia’s Presidential elections has significantly declined over time, with only 46.6 percent of registered voters voting during Georgia’s 2013 Presidential election. Some analysts predict this trend will continue and expect a low turn-out this fall, in part because the weakened institution of the Presidency — a result of Constitutional amendments passed by the Parliament of Georgia on September 26, 2017. Edison’s poll, however, reveals 41 percent of eligible voters are unaware these amendments also annul Georgian voters’ ability to directly elect their president. When we asked them about this, we discovered 40 percent of eligible voters “completely disapprove” and 31 percent “somewhat disapprove” of this change, which will take effect in six years.

Only three Presidential hopefuls lead: When asked “if the election was held tomorrow, which candidate would you vote for,” 22 percent of eligible voters expressed support for Grigol Vashadze (a candidate from the Power is in Unity alliance of opposition parties), 18 percent for David Bakradze (a candidate from the European Georgia Party, which broke away from the United National Movement), and 15 percent for Salome Zurabishvili (an independent candidate backed by Georgia’s ruling party– Georgia Dream). Nearly seven out of ten supporters of these top-ranking candidates told us they were certain of their choice.

Shalva Natelashvili (a candidate from the Labor Party) and David Usupashvili (a candidate from the Independent Democrats Party) garnered 8 and 3 percent support, respectively. Other candidates had less than 2 percentage points of support. A quarter of the interviewed eligible voters told us they are undecided or they refused to answer this question.

Salome Zurabishvili has a strong negative image among eligible voters. When asked which Presidential candidate they would never consider voting for, 41 percent named Salome Zurabishvili, 29 percent named Zurab Japaridze and 16 percent named Shalva Natelashvili, while 13 percent of the surveyed respondents would never vote for Grigol Vashadze and 11 percent said they would never vote for David Bakradze and David Usupashvili, respectively.

A run-off election is likely. A run-off election between the top two candidates will occur if no candidate reaches 50% of the vote. With three candidates garnering significant support in our survey, and several others bringing in smaller numbers, a run-off election seems likely to occur. And voters in our poll agree, with 44 percent of surveyed voters expecting a run-off election, while 22 percent don’t expect this outcome and 32 percent “don’t know” or “refuse to answer” the question.

If all remains equal, the government party endorsed candidate Zurabishvili will likely be defeated by an opposition candidate during a run-off. Edison’s pre-election survey shows that if during a run-off election Grigol Vashadze and Salome Zurabishvili are on the ballot, 50 percent would vote for Vashadze, while 24 percent would vote for Zurabishvili, with 26 percent undecided or refusing to answer this question. Similarly, Zurabishvili appears to trail David Bakradze during a run-off election scenario: 53 percent would vote for Bakradze and 23 percent would vote for Zurabishvili during the run-off election, with 24 percent being undecided or refusing to answer the question.

Georgian voters are deeply dissatisfied with Georgia’s developments, creating an environment favorable for an opposition candidate to take the helm of Georgia’s Presidency this fall. 79 percent of the surveyed respondents feel the Republic of Georgia is going in the wrong direction. Six out of 10 respondents told us they “strongly disagree” with the legislative initiative led by Georgia Dream to legalize production of marijuana for export, while 26 percent “somewhat disagreed.” Immediately after the Edison poll was released, Salome Zurabishvili stated that, if elected President, the dialogue with Georgia’s population on this issue will continue. She also invited two leading opposition candidates to participate in pre-election debates. Georgian voters are known to radically shift their political preferences in a short time-span. With 24 days left before Georgia’s Presidential election, presidential candidates still have some time to earn the voters’ trust.

Click here to view Rustavi 2’s coverage of Edison’s findings

Exit polls hold valuable insights into primary voters

While there is ample research on general elections (but always room for more), it is the outcome of primaries that is having an increasing impact on today’s politics.

This article from the Brookings Institution highlights data from exit polls performed by Edison Research.

We at Edison are proud to be associated with The Primaries Project that Brookings is undertaking. Look for more updates from The Primaries Project and Edison’s exit polls throughout 2018.

Edison Research to Conduct Exit Polling in the Republic of Georgia

By David1010Giorgi Balakhadze (english version) – File:Democratic Republic of Georgia.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26696605

Edison Research will be conducting exit polls on October 21, 2017 in the Republic of Georgia.  The survey is sponsored by the television network Rustavi 2.  In addition to these exit polls in Tbilisi and Kutaisi for the Mayoral elections, Edison is also conducting pre-election polling in Tbilisi.

Edison’s team (comprised of Rob Farbman, Senior Vice President; Nino Japaridze, Vice President; and Mary Meyn, Director of Research) visited Tbilisi in early October and announced both the scope and methodology of Edison’s polling, and the results of the first wave of its pre-election polling.  Detailed coverage of Edison’s October 4th press conference can be viewed here: http://rustavi2.ge/ka/news/86631#_=_

Edison’s Tbilisi pre-election poll results were released by Rustavi 2 TV on October 9th on Rustavi 2’s flagship weekly analytical program “P.S.”

http://rustavi2.ge/en/news/86926

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6322877599114620928/

Public opinion survey results broadcast by Rustavi 2 TV were based on Edison’s poll of eligible voters in Tbilisi, 18 years old and older, conducted from during September 22- October 2. A total of 1200 eligible voters were interviewed. Edison Research used random sampling methodology and conducted face-to-face interviews in respondents’ households. All eligible voters in Tbilisi had an equal chance of being selected. Margin of error for total sample was +/- 3 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The upcoming exit poll will mark the third time Edison Research has carried out exit polling in Georgia. Edison’s polling team has previously covered the 2010 Tbilisi Mayoral election and the national election for Parliament in 2012.

The Hidden Group that Won the Election for Trump: Exit Poll Analysis from Edison Research

By: Larry Rosin

“I don’t think there’s ever been two more unlikeable candidates,” said Michael Che during the Weekend Update sketch on Saturday Night Live this week.  “Not one time in this election have I heard anyone say: ‘You know what? I like them both.'”

The data from the Exit Polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool show Mr. Che to be correct – an extremely small portion of the voting public (only 2%) told our exit pollsters they had a favorable view of both.  While most voters did have a favorable view of one of the two major candidates – an astonishing 18% of the electorate told us they had an unfavorable opinion of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  And this is the group that won the election for Trump.

2016-exit-poll-data-favorable-unfavorable

The fact that nearly one-in-five voters who didn’t like either major candidate still came out to vote is pretty remarkable.  This number is double what we saw four years ago (9% were unfavorable to both in 2012) and nearly four times what we saw in the Bush-Kerry match-up of 2004 (favorability ratings were not asked in the 2008 exit polls).

As you might expect, if you had a favorable impression of one candidate and not the other, in virtually every case you voted for that one candidate.  So had those with a negative view of both candidates split evenly, Clinton would have won rather easily.  However, as the graph below shows, this “Neithers” group broke strongly to Trump 47% to 30%.

The story gets even more pronounced when we look at the states that swung the election to Trump.  In each of the cases in the table below, the votes gained by people who said: “I don’t like Trump but I’m going to vote for him anyhow” is greater than his total margin in these states.  In other words – it was the “Neithers” who pushed Trump over the top in these states and ultimately won him the election.

State % “Neithers” Trump Clinton
Wisconsin 22% 60% 23%
Pennsylvania 17% 56% 31%
Michigan 20% 50% 29%
Florida 14% 61% 24%
North Carolina 16% 62% 26%

The “Neithers” are more likely to be men (61%) and are more likely to be age 30-44 than in the younger or older age groups.  They are 78% white, as compared to the total electorate which is 70%.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the “Neithers” is that a significant portion of those who were unfavorable to both Clinton and Trump were favorable to President Obama.  Nearly half of those who didn’t like either of this year’s two major candidates do have a favorable impression of President Obama – and a significant portion of this group voted for Trump.

The 2016 election was unique in so many ways.  One distinguishing characteristic is just how many people had an unfavorable impression of both of the major party candidates.  To be sure, some of these people decided not to vote for either – Gary Johnson and Jill Stein combined for 19% of the vote among the “Neithers.”  However in the end, far more people who liked neither candidate chose Donald Trump and that provided him with his margin of victory in the battleground states.