The roll of an exit poll is not to provide data upon which weighty decisions are made. The roll of an exit poll is to determine why people voted the way they did.
Today, this exit poll in South Carolina is taking a lot of heat for obvious reasons. Is it racist to try to determine if there’s a racist component of the way people vote?
An exit poll questionnaire in SC yesterday. This is shameful! pic.twitter.com/MiS0FatnU5
— Auztin (@troyauztin) November 5, 2014
“It was overtly racist,” one voter told a Spartanburg TV station.
Exactly. It was meant to be. But its creator said the goal was to prove that racism wasn’t a big factor in the South Carolina vote on Tuesday.
“It was designed to take advantage of a political moment of Senator Tim Scott’s election as the first African-American from a southern state since reconstruction,” said David Woodard, a political science professor at Clemson University. “It was not designed to be provocative.”
On that point he obviously failed. It’s plenty provocative. And it does have a point of failure. Racists might be smart enough to figure out what Woodard was up to and answer the question differently.
It’s also a weird question to ask to detect racism in a voting pattern.
Where would such a stupid question come from?
The Modern Racism Scale, an actual psychological test, according to Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century