AMS2004-6: The 2004 Venezuelan Presidential Recall: Discrepancies Between Exit Polls and Official Results

Raquel Prado and Bruno Sansó
12/31/2004 09:00 AM
Applied Mathematics & Statistics
We present a simulation-based study in which the results of two major exit polls conducted during the Recall Referendum that took place in Venezuela on August 15th 2004, are compared to the official results of the Venezuelan National Electoral Council ``Consejo Nacional Electoral" (CNE). The two exit polls considered here were conducted independently by S'umate, a non-governmental organization, and Primero Justicia, a Venezuelan political party. We find significant discrepancies between the exit poll data and the official CNE results in about 60% of the voting centers that were sampled in these polls. We show that discrepancies between exit polls and official results are not due to a biased selection of the voting centers or to problems related to the size of the samples taken at each center. We found discrepancies in all the states were the polls were conducted. We do not have enough information on the exit poll data to determine whether the observed discrepancies are the consequence of a bias in the selection of the people interviewed by the pollsters.