I did my best...
My exit polling experience was good and affirming- despite the cold and people just rushing by. I met many dedicated folks from all camps and connected well with some special people. The actual collection of exit poll data by ballot was less successful. My method was to make eye contact, smile and then ask folks if they would like to participate. A large number of folks told me they had already completed CNN and/or Los Angeles Times polls CNN being two pages, while continuing on. A great many people had cell phones clamped to their heads as they headed for their cars.
4 Republican folks spoke with me, 3 Bush, one Clark/McCain write in.
Here is the text of my sign, (posted here yesterday) for clarity:
I am a freelance writer who publishes a weblog on the Internet.
I am conducting an informal exit poll and survey. In this age of media blitz and daily polls, "electability" and "anybody but Bush", the question I am exploring is whether people are voting for the candidate they are most aligned with, or choosing to cast their vote more strategically.
The survey is anonymous and takes less than 30 seconds to complete. Thank you to all who choose to participate. Stop by and see the results.
That final sentence followed by the web address.
The following was on the poll "ballot".
Which candidate is most closely aligned with your values and vision for our country?
And a parallel column asking:
For which candidate did you cast your vote?
Followed again by the alphabetical list.
A disclaimer. The associate that generated the list and produced the 600 copies on card stock left out Reverend Al Sharpton from the list. I did not notice and was informed at mid-day by my associate of the blunder. I waited to get called on it; I admit it does make me look stupid, or worse. I apologize and take full responsibility for the oversight. No exit poll balloter complained. A press guy who was looking at my project did snap one ballot up; I asked why and he said he just wanted to have one. This is before I was made aware of the oversight.
From just before 8 am until 6 pm saw me receive only 92 exit poll ballots.
Where the Candidate most closely aligned with ones vision was the one voted for:
Where the Candidate voted for was a strategic departure from the "closely aligned with your values and visions" candidate we see:
Clark gave no strategic votes away
Dean gives Kerry 3
Dean gives Clark 1
Edwards gives Clark 1
Edwards gives Dean 3
Edwards gives Kerry 2
Kerry gives 1 Lieberman
Kucinich gives Dean 3
Kucinich gives Edwards 2
Lieberman gives Edwards 1
Lieberman gives Kerry 3
One ballot had multiple candidates checked, "Heart with Kucinich" voted Kerry 1
Kerry folks wrote the most comments, mentioning his strength on women's issues, his presidential "resume'" , his perceived ability to "Beat Bush", the latter common themes.
Dean was next , "Faith in his vision", and "his vision" being the comments
Anyone but Bush was said to me a great many times.
Met great people, really dedicated and mutually supportive. Got a sense that there would be 1400+ votes in my chosen precinct, an area that has a spread of rentals and middle class homes, some really nice ones too, ideally a good cross-section of the town.
Spoke with dedicated independent documentarians who are filming the NH primary. A good day.
It is good to see Democracy alive, speak with dyed in the wool Republicans- who are voting Democratic due to the state of our nation. To speak with folks worried about their childrens futures. To hear young kids say they are first time voters because they care about America, and are afraid for our collective future- not just the US, but of the world. People far flung and diverse complaining about the mainstream media and the lack of real information to base choices on.
I saw a caring conscious America today. Shook hands with them and shared hope. The present Administration seems to be catalyzing both the youth and the older voters, there are bunches of informed citizens unhappy with our present course of state. People who are taking the effort to look into the issues, the candidates. Many who are concerned about electronic "black box voting".
Many people have faith in their candidate, that our ( Bush opponents) numbers will see us through.
The people they know are unhappy with the present Administration, they feel we are a huge majority.
Let us keep getting the facts and truth into light. The monied interests and the collaboritive press are going to do their best to bamboozle us.