Before Election Day, the news consortium conducting exit polls announced that it would be completing only “bare-bones” exit polling in some states, because of cutbacks. In doing so, it might have missed out on the story of the 2016 election, not to mention this one, given the focus of the post-mortem analysis.The National Election Pool — which conducts exit polls for The Associated Press and television networks — did not poll in Texas, a state that is already being mentioned by its newly elected Republican Senator, Ted Cruz, as a possibility to shift colours in 2016.
The Washington Examiner’s editorial today explains how this doesn’t quite make any sense: The exit polls included Illinois, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, which are all reliably Democratic states. But they left out states like Texas and Georgia, which ended up with a smaller final margin between the candidates than Michigan.
From The Washington Examiner:
Although there was a clear budgetary rationale for omitting Texas from exit polling, it is a far more serious omission. Texas has one of the nation’s largest Hispanic populations. It is one of the few states where Republicans have had some success in courting Hispanics, winning as much as 49 per cent of their votes in 2004. Have all of those efforts fallen apart in the Obama era? Were Texas Hispanics as sour on Mitt Romney this time as Hispanics in other states? Did they swing further in Obama’s direction, as they did in Colorado, or a bit away from him, as they did in Nevada and California? And how did these voters — mostly Mexican by ancestry — feel about Cruz, a Cuban-American who speaks with a Texas twang?
Because of the Republican concerns and Democrats’ bullish new stance on the state, it seems clear that Texas could be shifting politically. But there will never be hard numbers to answer these questions going into the next election cycle.
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