EXIT POLLING 2012

Follow the links for information on our 2009 exit polling and 2010 exit polling and 2011 exit polling experiences.

Our efforts were featured in a Charleston City Paper article from November 6, 2012 ("Across Charleston County, students run a serious exit poll"), and they also spotlighted our predictions. Head of School Jason Kreutner appeared on The Post and Courier's Election Night video updates with reporter Warren Peper to discuss USL's exit polling program.

Today (Tuesday, November 6) was a special Learning Outside the Classroom day at University School of the Lowcountry.  We conducted exit polling for contested races in Charleston County, US House District #1, and US President.  We chose twenty precincts across the county to get a broad sample.  Our main goal was to expose our students to a wide array of voters, voting locations, and political perspectives, and this entailed each student engaging in exit polling at two precincts.  Therefore, it is not a true representative sample, but we feel our exit polling data will pretty accurately reflect the actual results. Our goal was to garner approximately 100 completed exit polls at each site -- for a total of 2000. Turnout was strong, and our efforts were affected by the weather and the long lines at certain precincts.

The students prepared for this event for weeks, learning about the candidates and the issues.  This experience is an annual endeavor at University School of the Lowcountry because of the pattern of Congressional (and occasionally statewide and more) races in even-numbered years and municipal elections in odd-numbered years.  The students have learned about the candidates, marketing, and the issues facing the community.  They have also explored the value of exit polling in terms of statistics, sample size, location of precincts, turnout differences for different types of elections, and the diversity of voters they will encounter.  These are great lessons for preparing our students to be active and informed participants in their country.

We like to use our results to predict the outcome.  However, the students also have learned that exit polls can affect voter behavior if they are released before the end of voting.  Therefore, our results are compiled but not released to our community and beyond until after 7 PM. 

US President
Mitt Romney (Republican)……..725 (48.6%) (Actual 48.0%)
Barack Obama (Democratic)…..735 (49.3%) (Actual 50.4%)
Gary Johnson (Libertarian)……..19 (1.3%) (Actual 1.2%)
Virgil Goode (Constitution)………1
Jill Stein (Green)……………………….4
None of the Above……………………7

US House of Representatives District #1
Tim Scott (Republican)……………………………………………785 (54.9%) (Actual 60.2%)
Bobbie Rose (Democratic)…………………………………….533 (37.3%) (Actual 37.2%)
Keith Blandford (Libertarian)………………………………….41 (2.9%) (Actual 2.5%)
Write-In…………………………………………………………………5 (.4%)
None of the Above…………………………………………………67 (4.7%)

Charleston County Auditor
Paul Gawrych (Republican)……………………..666 (47.1%)(Actual 44.7%)
Peter Tecklenburg (Democratic)…………….676 (48.4) (Actual 55.2%)
Write In………………………………………………….4 (.3%)
None of the Above…………………………………50 (3.6%)

Charleston County School Board – North Area (Two open spots)
Chris Collins…………………612 (46.9%) (Actual 43.9%)
Tom Ducker………………..366 (28.1%) (Actual 28.3%)
Mattese Lecque………….297 (22.8%) (Actual 26.4%)
Other…………………………..30 (2.3%)

Charleston County School Board – West Ashley (Two open spots)
John Barter III…………….356 (28.4%) (Actual 25.4%)
Henry Copeland………….187 (14.9%) (Actual 16.5%)
Michael Miller…………….299 (23.9%) (Actual 24.3%)
Jim Ramich………………….223 (17.8%) (Actual 17.3%)
Brian Thomas………………187 (14.9%) (Actual 15.6%)
Other………………………….3

Is there a political party that best represents your views?
Constitution…….12 (.9%)
Democratic……..629 (45.2%)
Green………………15 (1%)
Libertarian……….82 (5.9%)
Republican…….…579 (41.6%)
Other……………….74 (5.3%)

There are over six uncontested races for state and county-wide office on the average Charleston County ballot.  Do you feel …
554 (49.1%) Satisfied.  An absence of opponents for incumbents means happiness with the officeholder.
574 (50.9%) Unhappy.  An absence of opponents for incumbents is frustrating for the competition of ideas.

AM Polling Sites (approximately 8:30-10:30) - National Guard Armory Mt. Pleasant, Christ Church Episcopal, Whitesides Elementary, Seacoast Church, Wando High School, Greater Goodwill AME, Jones Recreation Center, Mt. Pleasant Municipal Complex, Isle of Palms Recreation Center, Sunrise Presbyterian Church Sullivan's Island

PM Polling Sites (approximately 11:30-1:45)  - Midland Park Primary, Joseph Floyd Manor, A.C.Corcoran Elementary, Malcolm Hursey Elementary, Burke High School, Mitchell Elementary School, Sanders-Clyde School, St. John's High School, Mary Ford Elementary, Lambs Elementary

Beyond the preparation we have done in class, here are the speakers our students have heard from so far this year:
1) Julie Hussey - League of Women Voters - issues relating to suffrage, voting, and informing the electorate

2) Larry Carter Center - Green Party - candidate for SC House #114 - running as third party candidate, platform of the Green Party

3) Bill Rogers - SC Press Association - the role of the press in South Carolina (and the Freedom of Information Act and our low ranking for government transparency, etc.) and the importance of the press in investigating/reporting/publicizing the actions of government, etc. Jen Barclay Madden, Assistant Director, addressed newer forms of media and the impact of the internet on traditional newspapers (i.e. hyperlocal news sites).

4) Eaddy Willard -  Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics and Republican Party -  the past and present status of female representation in elected offices in South Carolina and the efforts of the SIWP to address this. South Carolina currently has no females in our State Senate, and the state is ranked 50th for women in elected office.  Willard is a former Republican Congressional staffer and has served in many functions in the party. She is the immediate past Secretary SC GOP having served in that position for a decade.

5) Bakari Sellers - Democratic Party - South Carolina State House District #90 (Bamberg, Barnwell, and Orangeburg Counties) representative since 2007.  He was elected in 2006 at the age of 22, and he is the son of civil rights activist (Orangeburg Massacre at S.C. State in 1968) and current president of Voorhees College, Cleveland Sellers. In 2010, Time Magazine named Sellers one of its top 40 civic leaders under the age of 40 in America. He spoke about the upcoming election, his party, its platform, and other issues relevant to politics in South Carolina and America.

6) Keith Blandford - Libertarian Party - candidate for US House District #1 - the Libertarian Party platform and his race as a third party candidate in South Carolina.

About University School of the Lowcountry

Located in Mount Pleasant and serving the metro Charleston area, University School of the Lowcountry (USL) is an independent, non-sectarian, non-profit school for high-achieving students with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. Accredited by the South Carolina Independent School Association, USL is a school-provided laptop school and our curriculum is designed to engage our students at an advanced level. USL seeks to develop self-confident, passionate, and empathetic learners who will make a positive difference in the world.

Why University School of the Lowcountry?

For results. >85% acceptance rate to Academic Magnet High School. 7th grade state-level recognition on Duke TIP SAT every year (over 30% of our participants). PSAT average for the 8th grade class placed them in the top 7% of the nation's 10th graders in Reading and Writing. Click here to read what our parents have to say and click here for news about USL.

For learning by doing. The world is our classroom, and students explore and experience it first-hand through over 30 field trips per year. Click here for more information about the current year at University School and our hallmark Learning Outside the Classroom program (LOTC). Each student also participates in our job shadowing program to explore careers of interest.

For the study of global languages. Each student learns Mandarin, Latin and Spanish. USL is the only school in the state that has students receiving high-level instruction in three languages at the same time. Click here to learn more about our global languages and academic program.

For the human touch. USL features small class sizes and caring teachers. Students mentor and receive mentoring. Service and experiential learning foster empathy and commitment to improving the community. The student culture emphasizes civility and gratitude, and individualized learning enables students to earn from 2-7 high school credits in middle school. Click here to learn more.

University School of the Lowcountry is committed to its growth as an institution that welcomes and values a diversified school community. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, economic background, or any other classification protected by law in the administration of its educational policies, financial assistance policies, or any other school policy or program.