Exit Poll Sponsorship and Response Intentions

  •  Costas Panagopoulos    


Scholars and practitioners alike are increasingly concerned about growing and differential rates of nonresponse in exit polls. In this paper, I examine how exit poll sponsorship affects response intentions. I leverage an experiment imbedded in a nationally-representative probability sample telephone sample that probed respondents about exit poll participation intentions. The survey, fielded by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN in November 2006, randomly varied whether respondents were informed the exit poll would be conducted by the “television networks,” specifically, or generically, by “some organizations.” The results reveal that respondents are significantly more likely to report they would be likely to participate in exit polls when television networks are explicitly identified as sponsors. These effects are robust across a series of specifications and do not appear to be moderated by key observable attributes including age, gender, race, partisanship or educational attainment. 

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