Denver Post should have reported differing views on exit poll showing decline in gender gap

I’m late getting to this, but I’ve been hearing conservatives trying to make themselves feel better about their election collapse by saying they successfully cut the gender gap in Colorado.

I’m thinking they might have scanned every word in The Denver Post, searching for something good, and found this sentence in a Nov. 6 article:

Although many polls nationally predicted a significant gender gap, Colorado exit polls showed women and men split equally.

Later, Democratic consultant Craig Hughes tweeted:

Craig Hughes@CraigHughesinCO

Dear Media: The Colorado exit polls are simply not accurate. Trust them at your own risk. Thank you. #copolitics

I asked Hughes to amplify, and he sent me these thoughts in an email.

First, we know the exits originally said that Colorado was tied at 48% for each candidate – when final results are tallied, Obama will carry Colorado by over 5%, so that’s a significant miss.  Second, the exits show that Obama’s Colorado margin was bigger among men (+5%) than women (+3%) which runs contrary to every single public and private poll conducted over the past two years.  In reality, Obama almost certainly carried women with a double digit margin.  Third, the exits list “NA” for voters aged 18-29, even though they make up 20% of the electorate, a larger portion than voters 65+.  Given those sample sizes, how is it they are unable to show results for voters aged 18-29?

Fourth, there are also exit poll results published by Latino Decisions that show Obama received 87% of the Latino vote, while the networks survey shows 75%.  I’d say 75% seems about right, but that’s a pretty big discrepancy.

If people want a look at what the electorate likely was, I’d suggest looking at the poll by Keating Research conducted just prior to the election that showed Obama +4%.  His numbers are more reliable to me than anything I have seen out of the exit polls in this, or previous, cycles (again, ask President Kerry about exit poll reliability).

So if you happen to be one of those Republicans who was feeling good because of those 18 encouraging words in the Denver Post, about women liking you more than before, I’m sorry I had to be the one, with the help of Hughes, to set the record straight.

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