The consortium of news organizations that conducts exit polling on Election Day has decided to eliminate those state-specific exit polls in 19 states deemed uncompetitive.
South Dakota is one of the states that will no longer have this data on Election Day.
South Dakotans will still be polled as part of a nationwide exit poll, but there will no longer be an effort to get a large enough sample in these 19 states to release stand-alone data on how those states voted.
The cutback is for financial reasons, as the costs of exit polling increase.
Voters in the excluded states will still be interviewed as part of a national exit poll, but state-level estimates of the partisan, age or racial makeups of electorates won’t be available as they have been since 1992. The lack of data may hamper election night analyses in some states, and it will almost certainly limit post-election research for years to come.
A growing number of voters casting early ballots has added to the complexity of carrying out surveys in 50 states, the District of Columbia and nationally. In more and more states it has become crucial to supplement in-person precinct polling with relatively costly telephone interviews in order to achieve representative samples.
This is relatively minor news, but it’s still a disappointment. I’m going to miss having that data to analyze South Dakota’s voting habits.