SOUTH CAROLINA 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count

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By Theodore de Macedo Soares

The 2020 South Carolina Democratic Party presidential primary was held on February 29, 2020. Election results from the computerized vote counts differed significantly from the results projected by the exit poll conducted by Edison Research and published by CNN at poll’s closing. The disparities exceed the exit poll’s margin of error.

Of all presidential candidates, Biden’s vote count exhibited the largest disparity from his exit poll projection. His unverified computer-generated vote totals represented a 8.3% increase of his projected exit poll share. Given the 528,776 voters in this election, he gained approximately 19,700 more votes than projected by the exit poll. This gain came at the expense of other candidates—mainly candidates Sanders, Warren, and Steyer.[i] Exit polls are widely recognized—such as by, for example, the United States Agency for International Development  (USAID)—as a means for checking the validity of unobservable computerized vote counts.

The United States remains one of the few major democracies in the world that continue to allow computerized vote counting—not observable by the public—to determine the results of its elections.[ii] Countries such as Germany, Norway, Netherlands, France,[iii] Canada,[iv] United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and many other countries protect the integrity of their elections with publicly observable hand-counting of paper ballots.[v]

[1] Exit poll downloaded from CNN’s website by TDMS on election night, February 29, 2020 at 7:00 PM. Candidates’ exit poll percentage/proportion derived from the gender category. Number of respondents: 2018. As this first published exit poll was subsequently adjusted towards conformity with the final computerized vote count, the currently published exit poll differs from the results above.

[2] Candidates’ percentage/proportion of the total computer-generated vote counts derived from reported counts (99.96% reporting) updated on March 1, 2020 and published by Decision Desk HQ. Total number of voters: 528,726

[3] The difference between the exit poll proportion and reported vote proportion for each candidate (subtracting values in column two from the values in column three). A positive value indicates the candidate did better and received a greater share of the total reported count than projected by the exit poll. For example, candidate Biden, reported percentage/proportion of the total vote increased by 3.7% compared to his exit poll share.

[4] This column shows the percentage increase or decrease from the candidate’s exit poll projection (difference in column four divided by exit poll proportion in column two).   

[5] This column presents a distinct Margin of Error (MOE) of the exit poll (EP) for the differences between candidate Biden and each of the other candidate’s EP results. The exit poll MOE, for example, between Biden and Sanders is 3.4% and the MOE between Biden and Gabbard, as her EP share is smaller, the MOE is smaller at 2.3%.  MOE calculated according to multinomial formula in:  Franklin, C. The ‘Margin of Error’ for Differences in Polls. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. October 2002, revised February 2007. Available at:  https://abcnews.go.com/images/PollingUnit/MOEFranklin.pdf 

[6] The disparities between the exit poll and the reported computer-generated vote counts comparing Biden and each of the other candidates (subtracting Biden’s 3.7% difference between exit poll and computer count from each of such differences for the other candidates). All disparities shown in column seven exceed their respective MOE. For example, candidate Biden’s unverified computerized vote count exceeded his EP projected vote proportion by 3.7% while Sander’s computerized count understated his EP projected vote proportion by 1.4 % for at total discrepancy of 5.1%. This 5.1% disparity, exceeding the statistical 3.4% margin of error based on their exit poll proportions, is significant as it cannot be attributed to the MOE.


[i] Sanders received 7,400 less votes than projected by the exit poll, Warren 6,400 less, and Steyer 5,000 less.

[ii] Fittingly, according to a recent Gallup World Poll, only 40% of Americans say they are confident in the honesty of U.S. elections. Finland and Norway with 89% of their citizens expressing confidence in the honesty of their elections along with the citizens of 25 other countries have greater confidence in their elections than do Americans.

[iii] During the 2007 presidential election, eighty-three municipalities (France has 36,569 municipalities) were allowed to use voting machines. Due to security concerns and the inability of voters to determine if their votes are counted correctly a moratorium, that remains today, prevents additional municipalities from introducing voting machines. In the 2012 elections only 64 municipalities continued their use. The French government desires a total ban on their use.

[iv] In Canada, the results of federal elections are determined exclusively by hand-counted paper ballots.  Some provinces have adopted voting machines for local elections. See here, here and here.

[v] The United States’ long ballots–containing federal, state, and local races–are commonly cited as being unwieldy for hand-counting. The use of Sweden’s method of providing different colored paper ballots for federal, state, and local races that are then sorted prior to hand-counting addresses this objection and allows for at least the hand-counting of federal elections with only three races per ballot.

South Carolina 2020 Democratic Party Primary Exit Poll. Published by CNN at polls’ closing on election night.

Note: The exit poll vote proportions for each candidate was derived from the gender category. Candidate’s share of the male vote was multiplied with the total male proportion and added to the candidate’s proportion of the female vote multiplied with the total female vote to arrive at the candidate’s exit poll share in the state.

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Frere Jacques
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Frere Jacques

pull more stops out please

Frere Jacques
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Frere Jacques

demand accountability

Cindy
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Cindy

Hi Frere, I’m thinking Ted has enough to do with more states to analyze and respond to questions/comments. I think you, me, and others should take on the responsibility to make sure this work gets seen by as many people as possible and to encourage the candidates affected to call it out publicly. Can you share this link on social media, email, and elsewhere? Can you contact the Bernie Team and ask them to speak out publicly? I believe the more we do this, the more chance we have of deterring it in the near future and changing it more profoundly long-term.

joe bongiovanni
Guest

Coronavirus Update
The propensity of the Dem establishment to FORCE the SuperTuesday 3 elections despite the Coronavirus call for Staying Home should be all the proof we need that the codes were programmed for that day.
Now that some Primaries will be rescheduled, it’s likely they will need to get back in there to re-program in order to assure their desired results.
Where is Kim DotCom when we need him?
I’m hoping there’s gonna be some data from Illinois ….. and soon.
Bernie is in his “see no evil” mode of operation.
Don’t get it. Voted TULSI.
in Virginia.
The Dems have already stated their right to determine who the candidate will be, no matter the voters choice.
What more proof do we need?

Jimbo Splice
Guest
Jimbo Splice

Is the State Department’s standard refusing to certify foreign elections 3% or 4.5% outside margin of error? I always forget the number and it’s surprisingly difficult to look up.

Paul D Roper Sr
Guest
Paul D Roper Sr

machines voted for Biden Not people!

Shauna
Guest

Will you be calculating this for all the exit polls ? Are other exit polls even being released?

John Roberts Brakey
Guest

The argument in this paper is right on! We need elections that are transparent, trackable and publicly verified. That means we must not let Electronic voting Go uncheck without having hand counted audits. The machines used in South Carolina cannot be trusted for several reasons.Please read this paper. The author is well known and respected in the Election community. Also read Steven Rosenfeld article on the South Carolina primary and all the problems.

Robin
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Robin

They are saying blacks are for Biden. I call bullshit.

Mike Fox
Guest
Mike Fox

This was the same in 2016 in favor of Clinton, with even greater numbers if I remember correctly. The question is what can we do????

Chris Brudy
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Chris Brudy

We’ve known this for years… They are stealing it with the machines, the closed polling places and the gerrymandering. What can we do? Campaign for hand counts, if there is any time left after the upcoming four more years.

Arlene Leaf
Guest
Arlene Leaf

Demand the use of only hand marked paper ballots now. Everyone bring their own pen to protect all from Corona.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Hi Chris, I think the most important thing we can do right now is get the word out on this study and Ted’s other state reports to deter them from doing it again. They do this over and over with impunity because not enough people know about it and not enough people believe it. This week is perhaps the very best time to get their attention because we’ve got a lot of people who really don’t want votes stolen from their preferred candidate. We also need to push the candidates HARD to speak out on this to deter it and work with election integrity experts in their campaigns. I contacted HUNDREDS of people working in some capacity in the Bernie campaign today and a lot of his supporters. I also contacted to a lessor degree Warren and Steyer camps. Hopefully, it helps… but we need an army of people doing this. I hope you’ll pitch in and help too.

Tina
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Tina

I”m doing it too Cindy!

joe bongiovanni
Guest

Call Kim DotCom.
Tell him it’s Hillary 2.0

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

John Brakey has suggested we request they save all digital ballots and give us digital copies so we can do a recount. IMO, if enough of us put in these requests it could make a big difference in their willingness to tamper with the results. Even more effective in my opinion, would be for the CAMPAIGNS to write open letters requesting this… and let their supporters make this REALLY PUBLIC.

Ramon Suarez
Guest
Ramon Suarez

In Germany a high court ruled over a decade ago that electronic voting machines were unconstitutional and banned them from use. The same is true for the most highly ranked democratic systems in the world, BTW. Ireland, Finland, Canada have either scrapped or refused to use them in recording and computing national elections results.

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[…] SOUTH CAROLINA 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count TDMS Research (furzy). Circulate widely. Deviations from exit polls in SC so large, and naturally benefitting Biden most and hurting Sanders the most, as to suggest the count was cooked. […]

joe bongiovanni
Guest

Weird, eh?
Of all people, Tulsi Gabbard lost the largest percentage of people who said they voted TULSI.
Almost one-third of all TULSI votes cast went to somebody else.
Maybe because she’s the one that has the paper ballot election fix already in Congress – what top-class Dem wants that?
Bernie and TULSI.
Stay the course.

Patrick Powers
Guest
Patrick Powers

Sampling error is proportionally greater with small samples, like Tulsi voters. Discrepancy was 0.5%, which is well within the range of sampling error. (I have a masters degree in statistics.) The Biden results are suspicious though.

joe bongiovanni
Guest

Statistics, like figures, don’t lie. Etc.
I stand by every word I wrote. And every statistic.
Elaborating here …. almost a third of all TULSI voters had their votes stolen.
I know that is not a problem, and somehow explainable and acceptable if you’re a DNC or DP operative.
But if you’re a voter, it shits.
Column No. 4. – 31.3 Percent of the Column 1 Total of TULSI votes were LOST to someone else. So – unacceptable. 31 Percent stolen.
Don’t confuse us with the irrelevant sampling size – margin of error ‘statistic’. it changes nothing here.
EACH candidate is a separate polling sample.
We sampled 100 Percent of TULSI’s voters.
Of which – 31.3 Percent have disappeared.
Statistic That.

bob Krause
Guest
bob Krause

Something was definitely wrong with the process. After casting vote, voting machine printed paper ballot, then was verbally told to scan ballot facing down on separate PC. The direct opposite from the instructions on computer screen. Tried to report but not sure anyone took serious.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

You may want to call a voter protection line for the candidate of your choice and report that!

Carol Parham
Guest
Carol Parham

In NC, we filled in bubbles in pencil on paper ballot to vote, then paper ballot was placed face down in the scanner feed of a computer. The paper forms are stored initially in locked box under scanner. We’ve always used electronic ballot machines before.

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[…] 02 March, 2020 – TDMS – Theodore de Macedo Soares South Carolina 2020 Democratic Party Primary Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count […]

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Hi Flyby News. Could you possible link to this analysis with a short intro on your website? Maybe also the MA analysis and the NH analysis.
https://tdmsresearch.com/2020/03/04/massachusetts-2020-democratic-party-primary/
https://tdmsresearch.com/2020/02/17/new-hampshire-2020-democratic-party-primary-exit-poll-versus-reported-vote-count/

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

John Brakey has suggested we request they save all digital ballots and give us digital copies so we can do a recount. IMO, if enough of us put in these requests it could make a big difference in their willingness to tamper with the results going forward. Even more effective in my opinion, would be for the CAMPAIGNS to write open letters requesting this… and then let their supporters make this REALLY PUBLIC.

Franz Neumann
Guest
Franz Neumann

Does the exit poll released at 7 p.m. have the same number of respondents as the final? I have heard people say these numbers are “early” or “preliminary” when they were released. The final numbers seem to have Biden up around 48%. Knowing the n for each would resolve. Thanks.

Miles Jackson
Guest
Miles Jackson

This is so important, thank you for your work! We need UN election monitors immediately.

David
Guest
David

I’m a Bernie supporter. But it still doesn’t seem like the vote would have been much closer in his favor with the small number of possible miscounted votes this article is reporting. Am I missing something?

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

If Bernie came up to 27 percent and Biden went down to 40 percent and Steyer went up to 17 percent making him viable, then the delegates would have been split three ways, not two, and Biden would have gotten considerably less delegates… he would have still won SC but not by anywhere near as much. They did this in 2016 too with HRC vs Bernie…. Bernie probably really did lose the southern states but not by nearly as much as reported…. i.e. he should have gotten way more delegates out of those states, even though he lost the southern states, well most of them.

Ron
Guest
Ron

Maybe in SC. Check out some others. Much different.

Shirley Townsend
Guest
Shirley Townsend

Were absentee ballots taken into account?

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I don’t know for sure but on the Edison Research site they state that they do sample people who early vote and actually say that’s important… but it would be nice to know more details. I highly suspect the absentee vote in SC was rigged royally. They dropped that vote first and the commentators were saying that initial drop was all absentee votes… that had Bernie at about 10%. Then every time more same day voting came in, he’d go up and I think he ended up around 20% so the absentee vote percentages were very different than same day voting for sure.

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Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Who runs the PROGRESSIVELINEUP2020.COM website in this link? There’s no info on the website about who runs it/owns it. The whois info is private and it was registered in July 2019. Also, who is Marcus Conte in the embedded YouTube video?

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[…] SOUTH CAROLINA 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count ← Super Tuesday’s an electoral disaster. […]

Eli Edgecomb
Guest
Eli Edgecomb

Thank you!
How do we get trained citizen exit polls at all large precincts?

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I love the idea of citizen exit polls but it seems it’s a monumental task and hard to get right.. not to say it shouldn’t be done anyway. There was a group in Marin County, CA (Lori Grace’s group I think???) that tried that in 2016. I can’t remember what happened but the data was not entirely usable… so it might be useful to find out what happened there so it could be improved upon.

tntroy61
Guest
tntroy61

what makes this totally suspicious? Warren has the next highest percentage stolen from her. While Pete & Amy had the least stole from them.

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[…] onto the TDMS analysis of South Carolina, we see that Biden surely has cheated his way to victory. But just for […]

Tina
Guest
Tina

Theodore de Macedo Soares, thank you so much for your excellent work!

I have a request. When I share your results, some people who aren’t trained in stats look at difference in total vote proportion and say.. “what is he complaining about. Its only a few percentage points”. But my understanding is the column we need to be focusing in on is the gain/loss column.

When you present your data can you highlight the column that we should be paying attention to, and also make it super obvious that that number outside of 3% is indicative of fraud.

Your work is great. But most people don’t have your education to understand what they are reading. And they don’t take the time to read the details. So having one image that summarizes the results in simple language will be a lot more persuasive.

The details are really important for the mathematicians. A simple image is more effective for the general public.

Happy to discuss or help if you have too much on your plate!

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

I second Tina’s suggestion 🙂

Ray Lutz
Guest

I have published a response to this paper using a Monte Carlo simulation to validate the results.
https://copswiki.org/Common/M1942

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[…] SOUTH CAROLINA 2020 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PRIMARY Exit Poll Versus Reported Vote Count […]

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[…] This gain came at the expense of other candidates—mainly candidates Sanders, Warren, and Steyer.[i] Exit polls are widely recognized—such as by, for example, the United States Agency for […]

James Chapman
Guest
James Chapman

The author has donated to Sanders for years. Bias at play here? And apparently is finding discovering that Bernie is getting screwed in primary after primary. What are the chances? Lol.

joe bongiovanni
Guest

As to Bernie getting screwed in every primary, I’d say at 100 percent, until he wears down and concedes. Then they close up shop.
The key in Nevada was to GET for Biden a high enough delegate count, and a second-place finish to give him the MO for a BIG S.C. Victory.
You know – a fabricated media logic.
The narrative of Big MO has many dimensions.
If Joe can only stay awake.
And if Ukraine-China never actually get reported.
Gawd.

Peter D
Guest
Peter D

Someone just pointed out to me that the CNN exit poll results updated 10.50pm 2/29 closely match the vote result, so they’ve changed from the 7pm results for whatever reason.

Cindy
Guest
Cindy

Lee Camp certainly has a way of driving the point home! This one is so well done, maybe we put part of it in a commercial!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk6iTd18lPI