When I went into work about 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday to work on the U.S. election, people were all excited about the exit polling data.
There was talk of a big Kerry win — which lasted as long as it took for real results to start flowing in.
One poli sci prof I phoned last night in Pennsylvania had a simple answer: Republicans vote in the evening after work.
Here's an NPR clip on the subject.
CNN analyst Bill Schneider also chided those who got overly-excited about exit polls, saying they're good for analyzing demographic groups but not for deciding a race.
The Washington Post has a thorough article (with links) on the role of bloggers in publicizing exit polls.
Here's how the L.A. Times covered it:
Exit Polls Bog Down the Blogs
By John Horn, Times Staff Writer
Overflowing with early, and sometimes wildly misleading, exit poll numbers, Web logs became the Internet's own battleground state on Tuesday, as the bloggers fought even among themselves in reporting the kind of preliminary data television avoids before polls close.
Some blogs were stuck between an ideological rock and a news-gathering hard place. Partisan blogs like the conservative National Review Online (http://www.nationalreview.com) found themselves caught in a spirited debate about whether the early numbers they posted were hurting their preferred candidate, President Bush. The readers of liberal blogs such as Daily Kos (www.dailykos.com) staged an online pep rally celebrating early numbers showing Sen. John F. Kerry ahead in many swing states.
But if you want to see some interesting reading, go to CNN's exit poll summary.