By Theodore de Macedo Soares
The 2020 Massachusetts Democratic Party presidential primary was held on March 3, 2020. Election results from the computerized vote counts differed significantly from the results projected by the exit poll conducted by Edison Research and published by CNN at poll’s closing. As in the 2016 Massachusetts primary between candidates Sanders and Clinton, disparities greatly exceed the exit poll’s margin of error. Sanders won Massachusetts in the exit poll and lost it in the computer count.
The discrepancies between the exit poll and the vote count for Sanders and Biden totaled 8.2%— double the 4.0% exit poll margin of error. Warren’s and Biden’s discrepancies totaled 8.0%, also double the margin of error. These discrepancies replicate the total discrepancy of 8.0% favoring Clinton in the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic Party primary between her and Sanders. This time two progressive candidates exhibit the same discrepancies now favoring Biden representing the establishment’s choice.
Presidential candidates Biden’s and Bloomberg’s vote counts exhibited the largest disparity from their exit poll projections. Biden’s unobservable computer-generated vote totals represented a 15.7% increase of his projected exit poll share. Given the 1,342,905 voters in this election, he gained approximately 60,900 more votes than projected by the exit poll. Bloomberg increased his vote share by 28.2% and approximately 34,500 more votes than projected. Their gain came largely at the expense of candidates Sanders and Warren whose combined vote counts were 97,000 less than projected by the exit poll.[i]
Noteworthy is the fact that the 2016 Massachusetts Republican Party exit poll taken at the same time and at the same precincts as the Democratic Party primary, and also with a crowded field of five candidates, was matched almost perfectly by the computer count—varying by less than one percent for each candidate.
Exit polls are widely recognized—such as by, for example, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)—as a means for checking the validity of vote counts. The U.S. has financed exit polls in other countries to “ensure free and fair” elections […]