Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why the exit polling is questionable

The 52.5% given to Saakashvili in the Rustavi 2-commissioned exit poll, with a 2% margin of error, is above the 50% threshold by a razor-thin margin -- and, as explained in an earlier post, exit polls will diverge a little from official results at even the best of times.

But more than that, the 52.5% figure includes the group's best guesses as to how the people who refused to respond -- 23% of the total surveyed -- cast their ballot. That is something which leaves considerable room for error in either direction.

Yet an Estonian MP went in front of cameras to declare that the election has gone smoothly, and he's confident in a Saakashvili victory. His words should be viewed skeptically -- the race is more open than they pretend.


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