You Want Largely Meaningless Exit Polls? Here Are Meaningless Exit Polls.

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 2 2010 6:28 PM

You Want Largely Meaningless Exit Polls? Here Are Meaningless Exit Polls.

I've seen early exit polls on several horse races and -- more usefully, perhaps -- several big issues. If they hold (and here's a sentence that could look stupid in six hours), the Democrats are headed for the middle scenario I outlined yesterday; bad, but with enough of their base coming out to save some tight races.

Democrats are up in the races for Senate in California and West Virginia. Republicans are up big in Florida, Kentucky and Ohio. Those are all seats that the incumbent parties are holding. But Republicans are narrowly up in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, narrower than polling suggested, and Nevada is a tie. If there is a Democratic blowout sweeping away seats that looked safe, it is not yet apparent.

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However! The polling on issues and genders -- less shaky than race-to-race numbers -- look pretty damn good for Republicans. The GOP is winning independents, right now, by 17 points. Thirty-seven percent of voters are Democrats and 35 percent are Republicans, a big drop from 2008, when Democrats had a 39-32 national lead on voter ID. And there is no apparent Democratic advantage with female voters.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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