Company News · November 10, 2012

Edison Successfully Conducts The 2012 National Election Exit Polls

By Tom Webster

Edison Research, the sole provider of election exit polling data to all major U.S. news networks since 2003, successfully conducted the 2012 National Election exit polls on Tuesday, November 6th. Using a combination of exit polling and telephone polling in states with significant early voting, Edison provided crucial data to ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC and the Associated Press, as well as newspapers and television networks around the world, all leading to the projection before midnight Eastern that President Barack Obama had been reelected.

The National Election exit poll has been entrusted to Edison since 2003, and represents the sole, lasting record of who voted, and why. This information was used to provide valuable, new information on America’s ever-changing electorate, and will be the subject of media and academic analysis for several years to come.

The U.S. election exit polling effort is the largest single-day survey research project in the world. The national exit poll survey includes 26,565 interviews with voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The interviews were conducted at 350 polling locations on election day, along with 4,408 telephone interviews of absentee and early voters. In addition, Edison staffers collected over 90,000 additional interviews across the country to provide election analysis of dozens of state-level elections. In total, over 3,000 Edison staff members collected nearly 120,000 interviews, all within the span of 16 hours. As a result, our network clients and the AP were successfully able to call not only the national Presidential race, but also every state and senate race, a number of House and Gubernatorial races, and several important referenda.

Edison’s real-time election data system tracked nearly 100 races for our network clients and the AP, allowing every client to make every call accurately and correctly. Since Edison became the sole provider of exit polling data in 2003 neither we nor our network clients have ever miscalled a race based upon our projections.

Full Exit Poll Results:






Associated Press

New York Times

Washington Post

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