Wisconsin Recall: The adjusted Final Exit Poll was forced to match an unlikely recorded vote

06 Jun

Richard Charnin
June 6, 2012
Updated: July 11

The media and the exit pollsters have done it again.

Before the first votes were posted, the media reported that based on the exit polls, the election was “too close to call”. But Walker won by 53.2-46.3%, a 173,000 vote margin. Assuming “too close to call” meant that the exit poll indicated a 50/50 split, then there was a significant 7% discrepancy between the unadjusted exit poll and the recorded vote. I believe that Barrett was actually leading the exit polls. Of course, we will never know until the unadjusted exit polls are released. In any case, what caused the unknown red shift?

According to the Wisconsin True Vote Model , Barrett was a likely 54-46% winner. Barrett should have won easily – assuming the caveat of a fair election. But the election was very likely stolen.

Forcing the exit poll to match the recorded vote

The Final Wisconsin adjusted exit poll (2547 respondents) indicated that Walker had 53.0% (see the NY Times link below). The 0.2% difference between the Final and the recorded vote was the result of the standard policy of forcing the unadjusted poll to match the vote.

The pollsters claim that the exit poll had a 4.0% margin of error. But they can’t mean the final adjusted poll because it is always forced to match the recorded vote within 0.5%.

Why did the media not provide the actual unadjusted exit poll demographics? Was it because they knew that they would have to adjust all the crosstabs to match a rigged recorded vote – and did not want the public to view the “adjustments”?

The Fraud Factor

And as is always the case, there was no mention of the fraud factor in the mainstream media. There never is. To the exit pollsters and the media, there is no such thing as election fraud.

The GOP employs overt voter disenfranchisement in plain sight by robocalling voters with false information and having election workers discourage voters from using paper ballots and vote on unverifiable touchscreen DREs. But we are supposed to believe that right-wing voting machine manufacturers would not stoop so low as to write malicious code to covertly flip votes in cyberspace.

In 2010, Walker “won” by 52.2-46.6%, supposedly due to low-Democratic turnout.
Was the election a prologue of the recall?

In the recall, Democrats turned out in droves, they wanted Walker gone. There was no way that the unpopular Governor would match, much less exceed, his 2010 vote – if the votes were counted as cast. But that is a quaint notion considering the overwhelming statistical evidence of systemic election fraud since 1988.

Implausible 2008 returning voters and 2012 vote shares

Obama had a 56.2% recorded share in Wisconsin and 63.3% in the unadjusted exit poll (2.4% margin of error). Assuming Obama had a 60% True Vote share, then to match the recall vote, Walker needed the following:
1) 81% of McCain and 71% of Obama voters turned out.
2) He needed to win 25% of Obama and 95% of McCain voters.
3) He needed 46% of new voters who did not vote in 2010. The 2012 exit poll indicates he had 45% and that new voters comprised 13% of the total vote.

In order to win by his recorded vote, Walker needed a 10% advantage in returning 2008 voters and a 20% advantage in net defections. That is highly implausible.

Exit poll oddities

1) A full 5% of voters were not white or black. But their vote is n/a.
2) Philosophy: 13% of liberals voted for Walker?
3) Party ID: 34% Democrat/ 35% Republican in a progressive state?
4) Labor: Just 62% voted for Barrett?
5) Obama preferred by 51-44%, yet Barrett lost the recall by 53.2-46.3%?
6) Barrett only got 81% of would-be Obama voters?
7)Turnout:47% of recall were returning Walker 2010 and 34% Barrett? That’s a 13% difference. In 2010 Walker “won” by 52.2-46.6%.
8) Urban vote: Barrett had just 62% in big cities?

Margin of error?

The pollsters indicate that there were 2547 exit poll respondents and that the margin of error (MoE) was +/-4%. Presumably, this includes a 30% cluster factor.

The adjusted poll had a zero MoE since it was forced to match the recorded vote. What is the point of mentioning a MoE if the exit poll is adjusted to match the recorded vote?

The pollsters must be referring to the unadjusted exit poll, but of course that is not for public viewing. In any case, the 4.0% MoE is too high, considering the number of respondents (n).

The simple formula is: MoE =.98/sqrt(n). Adding a 30% cluster factor, the theoretical MoE is 2.6%= 1.3*.98/sqrt(2547). So how did the pollsters come up with the 4.0% MoE?

If we had unadjusted exit poll data, the margin of error would be applied to determine the interval where the vote share would be expected to fall 95% of the time. That’s why unadjusted exit polls are necessary. The standard practice of forcing the exit poll to match the recorded vote implicitly assumes zero fraud, i.e. the recorded vote is identical to the True Vote. It never is.

The Ultimate Smoking Gun: Unadjusted state presidential exit polls (1988-2008)

July 11 Update: There are 274 state exit polls listed in the Roper archive for 1988-2008 (only 24 are listed for 1988). I originally used the True Vote Model to estimate the 26 missing 1988 exit polls. Dr. Bob Fitrakis, writing in The Free Press, referred to the earlier probability calculations in an excellent article: Wisconsin: None Dare Call it Vote Rigging

Here are the revised numbers, based on 274 exit polls:

– Republican recorded presidential vote shares exceeded the corresponding unadjusted exit poll shares in 232 (85%) of the 274 state elections for which there is exit poll data. One would normally expect approximately 137 (50%). The probability is virtually ZERO.

– The exit poll margin of error (described below) was exceeded in 135 (49%) of the 274 polls. The statistical expectation is that the margin of error (MoE) would be exceeded in 14 (5%). The probability is ZERO.

– 131 of the 135 exit polls in which the MoE was exceeded moved to the recorded vote in favor of the Republican (the “red shift”).  There is a ZERO probability that this one-sided shift was due to chance. It is powerful evidence beyond any doubt of pervasive systemic election fraud.

– The Republicans won the recorded vote in 55 states in which the Democrats won the exit poll. Conversely, the Republicans lost the recorded vote in just two states (Iowa and Minnesota in 2000) in which they won the exit poll. If the elections were fair, the number of vote flips would be nearly equal. The probability of this disparity is virtually ZERO.

Calculating the probabilties

The probability P that 55 of 57 exit polls would flip from the Democrats in the exit polls to the Republicans in the recorded vote is given by the Binomial distribution:

P= 1-Binomdist(54,57,.5,true)
P= 1.13E-14 = 0.000000000000011 or 1 in 88 trillion!

The probability that the exit poll margin of error would be exceeded is 5% or 1 in 20. Therefore, approximately 14 of the 274 exit polls would be expected to exceed the margin of error, 7 for the Republican and 7 for the Democrat.

Given the relationship between the exit poll, margin of error and corresponding win probability, we compare the 274 state exit polls to the corresponding recorded votes. The Republicans did better in the recorded vote than in the exit polls in 232 of the 274 elections. The probability of this one-sided red-shift is 9E-35 or 1 in 100 billion trillion trillion.

The MoE was exceeded in 131 exit polls in favor of the Republican – and just 4 for the Democrat. The simple Poisson spreadsheet function calculates the probability P:
P = 3.74E-116 = Poisson (131, .025*274, false)
P = .0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 0000000000 00000374

1988-2008 Red-shift Summary (274 exit polls)
The following table lists the
a) Number of states in which the exit poll red-shifted to the Republican,
b) Number of states which red-shifted beyond the margin of error,
c) Probability of n states red-shifting beyond the MoE,
d) Democratic unadjusted aggregate state exit poll share,
e) Democratic recorded share,
f) Difference between Democratic exit poll and recorded share.

Year RS >MoE Probability.... Exit Vote Diff
1988 21.. 12... 2.5E-12..... 50.3 45.7 4.6 Dukakis may have won
1992 45.. 27... 1.1E-26..... 47.6 43.0 4.6 Clinton landslide
1996 44.. 19... 2.5E-15..... 52.6 49.3 3.3 Clinton landslide
2000 34.. 17... 4.9E-13..... 50.8 48.4 2.4 Gore win stolen
2004 42.. 23... 3.5E-20..... 51.1 48.3 2.8 Kerry landslide stolen
2008 46.. 37... 2.4E-39..... 58.0 52.9 5.1 Obama landslide denied

Total 232. 135. 3.7E-116…. 51.7 47.9 3.8 Exact match to the Nat Exit Poll

Note: 274 exit polls from 1988-2008
(24 in 1988, 50 in each of the 1992-2008 elections)

The conventional wisdom is very conventional – and very misleading:

The NY Times Election site has the FINAL, adjusted exit poll crosstabs.


41 responses to “Wisconsin Recall: The adjusted Final Exit Poll was forced to match an unlikely recorded vote

  1. StPete

    June 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    None of this would be happening if the Dept of Justice / FBI weren’t allowing it to happen. This all goes much further than a few GOP stooges, although they’re the face of the problem. To figure it out, google Powell Memo…

  2. Fate~

    June 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Is that so?
    I saw no evidence that Walker was grossly unpopular outside of Madison, Milwaukee and a few liberal enclaves elsewhere in the state. In fact, Walker apparently did better in most areas, which was very likely due to the fact that the impact of his “reforms” wasn’t understood very well. He could then easily claim that held back otherwise inevitable tax increases, an argument that Barrett did essentially nothing to counter.

    There was also a substantial layer of voters (forget the exact percentage, but it was quite high) who held perceptions about political fairness, and seemed to lean towards voting for Walker on the basis that he should be allowed to complete his term.

    I would think both of those factors would persuade people to also turn out for Walker in large numbers. Practically all of your listed “oddities” seem to be based on certain assumptions which are common from pundits but are somewhat inaccurate in the real world. For example, you noted only 62% of labor voting for Barrett, but one has to realize that this could include members of generally conservative police and building trades unions, along with the minority of labor that trends conservative in general. Or the results from the big cities – Madison in particular is filled with tons of very obnoxious Republicans who have no qualms about loudly insulting others for their political views. And of course, Obama could easily have been a Republican had he run for office with the same policies 10 years ago, so that seems to be irrelevant.

    So, I don’t think the election was stolen. I think it was given up a long time ago, when the movement (and more specifically, the union leaders) decided to run an elections only strategy, when the rest of the state still needed to be won over.

    • mrcolson

      June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Those are all good points. I live in Madison, where visible support for Walker is hard to find. I did get out into other parts of the state, though, and it was obvious that there is a lot of support for Walker our there. I asked a union worker who was laying some flooring where I work last week why support for Walker was polling so high among union households. His answer was that a lot of people aren’t in unions by choice.

      I will say that after the fact adjustment of exit polls strikes me as odd. If I’m not mistaken, exit polls are used in Europe to call elections almost immediately after voting is finished, and they are usually extremely accurate. Why they would need to be revised here is beyond me.

    • Gary

      June 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Well, here’s a FRESH Investigative Journalism story to dig into that might match up with ’40 YRS after Watergate, INVESTIGATIVE Journalism at RISK’ article written today by Leonard Downie, Jr, The WASHINGTON POST-OPINION.

      [TOPIC] Wisconsin’s 5 RECALL ELECTIONS & ‘Electronic’ VOTE Count Results, TUE, 06-05-12]

      [MY WP-POST today] ,,, Do you THINK that Our VOTING Machines [DRE’s] & the ‘SOFTWARE’ that produces VOTE Counts & RESULTS can’t be COMPROMISED & MANIPULATED? ~Oh, YES they CAN,,,if Criminals have the KEY to the SOFTWARE Source CODE, or Cyber Criminal ‘HACKERS’ do it. ~NOTHING is EVER ‘properly’ DONE about this potential breach in SECURITY with our nation’s VM/DREs, which are ‘computers & software’! ~WHAT ‘Checks & Balances’?

      LAST NIGHT, 6.5 MILLION members of LINKED-IN’s business networking web site had their PASSWORDS & ALL Personal INFORMATION STOLEN by a Russian ‘HACKER’. Then, POSTED ALL PW’s on the web for the WORLD to STEAL. ~NEXT, LAST NIGHT, 1.5 MILLION members of dating site, eHARMONY’s were STOLEN,,, [Members urged to CHANGE Pass Word immediately] But, damages done!

      ~UNTIL Complete ‘SECURITIES’ for our VM-DRE’s [Nationwide] are implemented & in place [before, during, and after] our ‘next elections’, we should ONLY USE the old-fashioned, but ever reliable, PAPER BALLOTS! [They provide ACCURATE VOTE COUNTS & a reliable ‘paper-trail’ if VOTE RECOUNTS need to be done.] “”JUSS-SAYIN”” ~ How many MORE ELECTIONS do you want to lose to Criminal VOTE FRAUD?

      ~NOW Please READ Mr. Richard Charnin’s, “Wisconsin RECALL: The ‘adjusted’ Final EXIT POLL was FORCED to MATCH an ‘unlikely’ RECORDED Vote article below,,,

    • dfresh

      June 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Still how do you explain the exit polls results with the 7% shift towards Walker?

  3. davidgmills

    June 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    TIA — Glad to see you haven’t given up.

  4. Bob

    June 7, 2012 at 12:21 am

    You must not be from around these parts of Wisconsin. The only place in the state that was all out against Gov. Walker was Dane County, Madison. Even in Milwaukee, there was plenty of areas that were more than just small pockets of Walker supporters. Several of the suburbs are more conservative than liberal and had strong voter turn out for Walker.

    The real reason Barrett didn’t win goes all the way back to 2010. He lost then and other than scalping a few businesses from the suburbs, he did nothing to bring jobs to the City of Milwaukee. People saw how poorly he managed that city. If the Democratic party had recruited former Senator Feingold to run against Walker. I bet the outcome would be a new governor today.

    The is no conspiracy theory at play here unless it’s the ineptness of the WISDEM leadership in recruiting a viable candidate.

    • davidgmills

      June 8, 2012 at 12:52 am

      Bob: You obviously don’t understand math. The dumbification of America.

  5. Alauda (@Alauda1)

    June 7, 2012 at 9:57 am

    The machines can easily be manipulated. These machines should be tested, and for future fraud.

  6. Gillian Dale

    June 7, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    1. Yes, the machines, according to one honorable Republican are actually DESIGNED to be easily manipulated. :
    also see:
    Whether or not they threw the election remains to be seen.
    2. What i have heard that explains a lot of those weird numbers cited inthis article, tho’, is that people treated it as if it were the same as impeachment — and thought it somehow unfair to recall Walker. Now that is ALSO based on exit polling, it seems, so i would indeed like to see more about these polls.

  7. badgitator

    June 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I’ve heard it claimed that exit polls used to be extremely accurate (Dewey v. Truman notwithstanding), and have only recently become substantially less so. This downturn in accuracy seems to coincide roughly since the introduction of electronic voting machines. Any truth to this claim?

    • Gillian Dale

      June 8, 2012 at 9:06 am

      I hope the author will respond to this, but this is certainly my own impression. The first time i remember this being something i myself noticed was in ’04,I think.

    • Gillian Dale

      June 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

      I’d also recommend checking out BradBlog or Black Box Voting, which follow this problem around the country.

    • davidgmills

      June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm


  8. Jesse

    June 8, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Your math is based on an exit poll off 2547 respondents out of over 2 million registered voters. There are a few things to take in consideration when bringing forth your theory. The first is that is it an accurate cross-section of Wisconsin voters, second is that of these respondents did they respond truthfully, and last is if you do the percentage of respondents its about 1/10th of one percent. Undeniably the last point is the key in figuring out these exit polls.
    Also you claim there has been proven systematic election fraud since 1988, which in a state where the current legislature approved a voter ID bill and was signed into law only to have it be overturned by the judicial system. One of the major reasons why it was put forth in the first place was to prevent election fraud. Most democrats and other “disenfranchised” members of society claim that there is very little fraud if any in our great state. This either leads me to believe that they don’t want an ID law because there really isn’t much fraud, or they don’t want it because fraud can be easier to commit. You cant have it both ways. If you say that voter fraud is rampant, then why oppose a voter ID law?

    As for the oddities you present, where a certain % were either registered conservative that equaled a total of 69% Assuming that these voters voted along party lines, which always wasn’t the case, then that still leaves 21% of independent voters that could go either way. Just because someone signed a recall petition doesn’t exactly mean they voted against Walker, as one of the State Supreme Court Justices stated. As for the ones who are Obama supporters but still voted for Walker, again it comes down to the independent vote. Some people claim that this election is a sign to come in November, when in actuality some voted on the mere premise that he should be able to finish out his term. As for Barrett only getting roughly 60% of the union vote, doesn’t that all union members are Democrats. It’s like the old adage “Just because you go to church doesn’t make you a Christian.”

    I respect your qualifications immensely, but sometimes its takes a more pragmatic look to see things clearly.

    • Gillian Dale

      June 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      There is very very little evidence of any “voter fraud” — i.e., people pretending to be someone else, etc. That is a whole other question than what “disgriscom” calls “insider fraud” or others often call “election fraud”. We are talking about the latter, election fraud through the manipulation of the machinery — very easy, as the machines are very easily manipulated and the methodology held in secret — by companies with very pronounced right-wing sympathies. see

  9. dlgriscom

    June 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Richard, I really have to commend you for your persistent hard work using statistics to test the honesty and accuracy of our elections …which turn out to have been neither for a long time now. It must have taken you a lot of time to fully develop your TrueVote methods and a whole lot more time collecting all the data and entering them into your spread sheets.

    Many of the comments above represent people’s subjective guesses as to why Walker actually won without the Wisconsin election computer operators dialing up a win …which they can always do no matter how many times the voting machines and central tabulators are tested. Statistical methods such as yours are the only OBJECTIVE means for deciding whether or not there was insider fraud …as opposed to “voter fraud” by individuals (a term invented by the perps and pinned on ACORN, even though not a single member was convicted of voting twice or whatever other inefficient mom-and-pop fraud one might imagine).

    So keep up your good work!

    • Richard Charnin

      June 8, 2012 at 11:07 am


      Your comment is much appreciated.
      Your scientific background is world-class.
      My blog links to your website. People need to go there.

      It’s tragic that so many Americans have been influenced by propaganda and disinformation – especially since the 1980s.
      And also that mathematics and the scientific method has been shunned by the mainstream media when it comes to election fraud, JFK and 9/11…

      Again, thank you very much for “liking” the post.


    • davidgmills

      June 8, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Like your blog David. 9/11 and Election Fraud. A man after my own heart. Here’s a video that might be of interest to a physicist; it’s about Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR’s). Invented at Oak Ridge. They never made it into commercial production and were forgotten. Not good for nuclear weapons but produce only 1% of the nuclear waste of light and heavy water uranium reactors. Very safe and small. Originally designed for airplanes (although they probably weren’t feasible for that). I am sure you know how much thorium there is and how long we could produce power from it. The interesting thing is that LFTR was developed by Alvin Weinberg who also holds the patent on the light water reactor which he thought was far inferior to LFTR.

      LFTR is now being revived by a NASA engineer, Kirk Sorensen, and becasue of him China now has a program to make one. I think you would be interested.

  10. Terry Michel

    June 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    The only answer for election accuracy is PAPER BALLOTS, with no rush for results…

    • mymarkx

      July 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Most paper ballots are put through two (2) easily hacked electronic machines to be “counted,” an optical scanner and a central tabulator. Even worse are mail-in ballots. Some states don’t have to count them at all, and some places that are supposed to count them don’t, as there is no public oversight to ensure that they’re counted:

      But the real problem isn’t how people vote or how the votes are counted (or not), the real problem is that the act of voting is the act of publicly declaring oneself incompetent and appointing a guardian, whoever wins the election, to manage one’s affairs. Since most voters surveyed in a Rasmussen poll a few years back believed that names chosen at random from a phone book could do a better job than Congress, delegating our power to ambitious dunderheads, easily influence by corporate money and political party pressures, ensures that our interests will not be represented.

      The Constitution arranged for terms to be staggered so that we could never throw all the bums out at once to ensure that those who owned the country would always run the country. They say if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Maybe it is time to stop complaining, stop voting, and take back the power that this country’s founders shed their blood for us to have, which the Framers betrayed:

      The Counterrevolutionary Constitution:

      Democracy means government of, by, and for the people, i.e., self-governance. Self-governance is one of those things like eating, breathing, or sleeping. You have to do it yourself. You can’t just elect or pay somebody to do it for you. You can try, but I guarantee you that the results will be unsatisfactory every time.

  11. Blake Seitz

    June 9, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Give it up, it’s not gonna change anything. I blame my union (WEAC) for the mismanagement of the reaction all the way through. There was no strong candidate. The unions shouldn’t have endorsed Falk right away. Barrett never had a concrete plan of action of what he was going to do.The perception of the public was that the teachers were whining-which WEAC certainly did. I dropped my union membership because I wasted over 700.00 last year and I can’t afford to do it again with my health care going up 200.00 a month. I blame Walker, but Mary Bell and her cronies are just as much to blame.

    • Gillian Dale

      June 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      And by how much do you think your health care would be going up if you didn’t have a union? Just askin’.

  12. giuseppe kenaga

    July 20, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    “I don’t say what God is, but a name that somehow answers us when we are driven to feel and think how little we have to do with what we are.” – Edwin Arlington Robinson

  13. Matt

    October 7, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Your article Wisconsin Recall: The adjusted Final Exit Poll was forced to match
    an unlikely recorded vote Richard Charnin’s Blog is informative and also well considered, I will likely be back in order to view new article content..!

  14. Just another statistician...

    October 23, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Your model leaves off an effect I suggested to my wife, mostly for the lulz but I have to wonder whether or not it really happens — people lying on the exit polls, or saying they voted one way when they in reality voted a different way. Your models take nothing of the sort into account. While your quantitative approach is good, you miss on where details like that could be screwing with the model. Voter models are not the only place where people misrepresent themselves — it’s all over the place and really blatant. You yourself said before that the place to start is with good data. Is an exit poll really good data?

    • Richard Charnin

      October 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Yes, an unadjusted exit poll is really good data. In fact, its the only data which is available to compare to the recorded vote. Some people lie, true, but so what? Very few do. And of those who do, there is no basis for saying that republicans do so more than democrats. So it evens out.

      The Law of Large numbers. Ignore it at your peril.

      The other canard that republicans are less anxious to be interviewed by exit pollsters have no basis in fact.
      Naysayers are left with two arguments that do not hold water. They are in denial or willfully ignorant.

      I have analyzed 274 presidential exit polls from 1988-2008 and have computed the probability that 226 would red-shift to the GOP, that 126 would exceed the margin of error and that 123 of them would red-shift.

      ALL ZERO.

      Unless you can prove that the data is invalid, or that the probability calculations are incorrect, there is nothing more to talk about.

    • Gillian Dale

      October 23, 2012 at 11:29 am

      This is similar to the “shy Tory” theory on Wikipedia that someone just mentioned– which might be called the ashamed-Tory effect, imo. Or it’s not really the case. Why would “conservative” voters be more “shy” than others? Why wouldn’t people across the political spectrum be equally likely to misprepresent themselves (unless of course they are indeed just less trusting and more paranoid)?

      More to the main point: why did this NOT use to be the case, before ’00/04? Exit polls before the new hackable machines were considered extremely reliable, as far as I know. They almost always matched the outcome given by the counters.

  15. Just another statistician...

    October 23, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Might I recommend you read up on the “Shy Tory Factor.”


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