Associated Press to replace exit polls with voter survey after 2016 inaccuracies

Associated Press to replace exit polls with voter survey after 2016 inaccuracies
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The Associated Press announced Tuesday that it will end its practice of conducting exit polls, replacing them with a voter survey that will take place over the course of several days.

The news service said that it developed the AP VoteCast service in conjunction with NORC at the University of Chicago in order to achieve more accurate polling results and keep up with changes in voter habits. It involves phone and online surveys beginning four days before an election and ending through the close of polls. 

David ScottDavid Albert ScottAssociated Press to replace exit polls with voter survey after 2016 inaccuracies Overnight Regulation: Senate passes Dodd-Frank rollback | SEC charges Theranos CEO with 'massive fraud' | Former Equifax exec charged with insider trading | FEC proposes changing digital ad rules Bipartisan House bill would replace consumer director with panel MORE, deputy managing editor for operations at the AP, said that more than 85,000 voters are expected to be surveyed in this year’s midterm elections, more than four times the number of exit polls conducted in the 2014 midterms.

In-person exit polls have been criticized as inaccurate by many who say that they leave out absentee and early voters and do not accurately capture voter opinions.

In the 2016 presidential election, for example, exit polls showed that Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House MORE was significantly more likely to win many states that President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE actually won.

The AP said it tested the new survey service in the Alabama Senate special election last year and in two other statewide elections.

“It’s kind of a bold move,” Sally Buzbee, the AP’s executive director, said. “We just felt like it was the right time.”

The AP will collaborate on the survey with Fox News, which said on Tuesday that the partnership is part of an effort "to provide a more comprehensive look at voting trends."

"Our 2017 tests with the AP and NORC show we've created a state-of-the-art tool for understanding the actions and attitudes of all Americans on Election Day," said Jay Wallace, president of news for Fox News, in a statement.

"By combining poll data with timely information on registered voters and actual vote results — the Fox News Voter Analysis will provide the best possible report on American elections. Most important, we will provide in-depth coverage of every statewide election in 2018 and 2020, which will be particularly valuable as we expand our digital coverage," he added.

Updated at 11:37 a.m.