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AP to present VoteCast results at AAPOR polling conference

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo, voters wait in line in the gymnasium of Brunswick, Maine, Junior High School to receive ballots to vote in the mid-term election. New state data obtained by The Associated Press shows that tens of thousands more Maine Democrats headed to the polls in November than Republicans. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Voter Turnout Maine

The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago will present the results of AP VoteCast, the new standard in election research, at the American Association for Public Opinion Research conference in Toronto on Saturday.

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Voters wait in line in the gymnasium of Brunswick Junior High School in Brunswick, Maine, to receive ballots to vote in the midterm election, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

AP VoteCast captures the opinions and preferences of voters as they choose who to vote for, along with the reasons behind their decision. Developed with NORC, VoteCast is a modern approach to public opinion research designed to deliver a broad and more accurate picture of the American electorate than ever before.

AP VoteCast replaces the polling results the news agency once used from the traditional, in-person exit poll.

Along with helping AP call races on Election Day, data from VoteCast — when paired with AP’s vote count —
ensures AP and its customers have all the information they need to tell the story of the U.S. presidential primaries and general elections.

The presentations at the AAPOR conference, which will be livestreamed, will include a detailed report assessing the success of AP VoteCast’s debut in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

AP and NORC are committed to transparency in conducting AP VoteCast and sharing the results returned by its innovative methodology for peer and academic review.

As part of that commitment, the 2018 AP VoteCast data is now available for download at:

The public use file contains the data in a variety of formats; a codebook with a list of variables, methodology and national frequencies; and the full AP VoteCast survey questionnaire.

AP VoteCast delivered impressive results in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. The survey’s portrait of the electorate largely matched comparable results from the U.S. Census’ Current Population Survey for all age, gender, racial and ethnic groups, and education levels. At 5 p.m. on Election Day, AP VoteCast’s estimates of vote choice also correctly projected the winner in 92% of the 35 races for U.S. Senate and 36 races for governor.

The average error in those races was only 1.2 percentage points. In past elections at that time, the error in favor of the Democratic candidate reported by the in-person exit poll that AP VoteCast replaced was often measured in double digits.

AP and NORC will present “AP VoteCast 2018: Methodology and Results” at the AAPOR conference at 1:45 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The organizations will also discuss 2018 voting, demographics and issues in a separate session on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET, and detail election forecasting, modeling and weighting in a session on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Information about AP VoteCast, including plans for the survey in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, will be available at NORC’s booths (113 and 115) at the AAPOR exhibit hall.

The Associated Press is the most trusted source of information on election night with a history of accuracy dating to 1848. AP collects and verifies U.S. election returns in every county, parish, city and town across the country, covering races down to the legislative level in every state and declaring winners in over 5,000 contests.

About NORC

NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


Lauren Easton
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press

Patrick Maks
Senior Communications Associate
The Associated Press

Eric Young
Senior External Affairs Manager
NORC at the University of Chicago

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