Voter analysis available upon request
About 1000 college students from seven universities throughout Utah will work long hours on Election Day to conduct the KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll, the longest running student-run exit poll in the country.
The results of the poll, which has proven very accurate over its 26-year history, will be available immediately upon the closing of the polls at 8 p.m. on Election Day. KBYU will broadcast the results live as a part of its election programming. Press releases and survey questionnaires will be available at http://exitpoll.byu.edu . Custom analysis is available upon request.
In addition to asking statewide about vote choice for president, governor, attorney general and U.S. Congress, this year’s questionnaires contain items focused on state legislative voting. The poll will survey samples of voters in the race for Utah’s 49th state legislative district (between Republican House Speaker Greg Curtis and Democrat Jay Seegmiller) and also in Utah Senate District 8 (between Republican State Senator Carlene Walker and Democrat Karen Morgan). Other exit poll questions address voter perceptions of the economy, vice presidential selections and voter confidence and satisfaction.
Since early September about three dozen students in political science and statistics at Brigham Young University have been organizing this year’s exit poll. The work includes drawing a random sample, designing the surveys, training students as Election Day interviewers, programming computer systems for the flood of data from several thousand completed surveys and ironing out the many logistical details for the undertaking.
“The KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll provides students with a great opportunity to get outside the classroom and experience research firsthand,” said Quin Monson, co-director of the exit poll and an assistant professor of political science at BYU.
On Election Day students will begin as early as 6 a.m. and will not finish the day until well after the polls close at 8 p.m. Students conducting the on-site polling will brave November weather to approach randomly selected voters after they finish voting to ask them to participate in the confidential survey. Student interviewers will work a seven-hour morning or afternoon shift at one of the 107 polling locations scattered throughout the state from Brigham City in the north to St. George in the south.
Other students will rove designated geographic areas in “crisis teams” – visiting the interviewers to ensure all is well, providing encouragement and handling contingencies. The remaining students will be headquartered at Brigham Young University to receive and process the incoming data and direct the efforts of interviewers and crisis teams.
In addition to students from BYU, other participants in the exit poll hail from Utah Valley University, Westminster College, Weber State University, Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Dixie State College.
“This is a massive project that would be impossible without help from our friends in political science and statistics all across the state,” said a grateful Kelly Patterson, professor of political science at BYU and co-director of the exit poll.
Exit Poll History
The KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll began in 1982 under the direction of Professors Howard Christensen and David Magleby, both still at BYU. Now an institution of Utah politics, the exit poll provides practical experience for students to supplement their classroom instruction, timely and accurate predictions of Election Day results and insights into voting behavior in Utah. The poll is sponsored by the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University.
About the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy
The Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University is a nonpartisan academic research center seeking to increase knowledge about the practice of American democracy. The Center is committed to the production and dissemination of research that meets high academic standards, is useful to policy makers, and informs citizens. Founded in 1998, the Center has enjoyed significant success securing grants from foundations and other sources totaling several million dollars. The Center’s research has been published in leading academic journals and presses in the areas of campaign finances, voting technology and election reform, presidential and congressional elections, religion and politics, and democratic deliberation. The Center’s scholars frequently provide expert commentary on national and local politics in areas related to their research. The views expressed in this release do not necessarily represent the views of Brigham Young University and its sponsoring institution. More information about the Center can be found at http://csed.byu.edu .
The scholars at the KBYU/Utah Colleges Exit Poll welcome requests for customized analysis of their results. For additional comment on poll results, analysis, methodology or questionnaires, please use the following contact information:
The Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy
Brigham Young University
Phone: (801) 422-3716
Kelly Patterson, (801) 422-4985
Quin Monson, (801) 422-8017
Writer: James Phillips