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Early Election Projections, Restrictions on Exit Polling, and the First Amendment

By Clyde Spillenger


The television networks\u27 practice of predicting the outcomes of political contests of national significance early on Election Day has generated considerable controversy. In 1980, NBC\u27s early projection of a Ronald Reagan landslide, together with Jimmy Carter\u27s early concession speech, was widely reported to have discouraged many voters in Western states from casting their ballots.Similar behavior by the networks during the 1982 and 1984 elections, while yielding fewer dramatic anecdotes about voters leaving the polls without casting their ballots, likewise generated concern among politicians and the public at large

Topics: Law
Publisher: Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository
Year: 2015
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