WSJ Two-by-two, polling specialists from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News and the Associated Press will go into rooms in New York and Washington shortly before noon Tuesday. Their cellphones and BlackBerrys will be confiscated; proctors will monitor the doors; and for the next five hours, these experts will pore over exit-poll data from across the country.
Why study the data if you are not going to report it? And what prevents experts in another room from getting the same data, and reporting it: to the blogs, and elsewhere? The answer is to stop exit polls, and wait for the real results. And the way to do that is to tell everyone that if they are contacted by an exit poller, to lie to them about how you voted. If the exit polls are wrong in the results, they will stop holding them.If all goes well, only when they emerge from their cloisters will the legions of ravenous political bloggers have any chance of getting their hands on the earliest indication of which party will end up controlling Congress. "The demand for info is intense, and if the safeguards aren't steel doors bolting people inside a room, it will get out," says Marc Ambinder, associate editor of National Journal's Hotline OnCall. "The insatiable appetite for this info will overwhelm the ability to keep it secret."