2009 Exit Polling Recap

USL Head of School Jason Kreutner appeared on WCSC-Channel 5 on November 4, 2009 to discuss the students’ exit polling and accurate predictions of the Mt. Pleasant mayoral and Town Council elections. Click here to watch the segment. 

On November 11, 2009, The Moultrie News featured University School’s pioneering Learning Outside the Classroom program. Helen Ravenel (“Local students learn about exit polling during the election“) specifically focused on the students’ work with exit polling and election predicting in the Mount Pleasant municipal elections. 

Tuesday, November 3 was a special Learning Outside the Classroom day at University School of the Lowcountry.  We conducted exit polling for the Mt. Pleasant mayoral and Town Council races.  We chose six voting locations across Mt. Pleasant in order to have a representative sample of the Town as a whole.  We garnered approximately 100 completed exit polls at each site (593 in all), and then we returned to USL to compile the surveys and make informed predictions about the races.

The students prepared for this event for weeks, learning about the candidates and the issues.  This experience follows upon a similar endeavor we undertook last fall when we did exit polling across Charleston County for the 2008 presidential race.  It was a great learning activity about mathematics, statistics, and the democratic process for us all.

On Wednesday, November 4, we reviewed the results of Tuesday’s election. Mayor-elect Billy Swails (right – standing) joined us as we compared our predicted results by race to the actual results, and we also discussed the lessons learned from our project and improvements for future exit polling exercises.


The below results were posted on Tuesday, November 3 at 7:00 PM.

Mt. Pleasant Municipal Complex (Precincts 2, 4, 5)
– Bustos 36, Santos 15, Swails 49
Hibben United Methodist Church (Precincts 6 and 7)
– Bustos 36, Santos 20, Swails 43
Seacoast Church (Precinct 17)
– Bustos 29, Santos 24, Swails 45
Christ Episcopal Church (Precincts 22, 23, 24)
– Bustos 30, Santos 10, Swails 36
Greater Goodwill AME (Precincts 31, 32, 34)
– Bustos 31, Santos 14, Swails 47
Thomas C. Cario Middle School (Precincts 33 and 35)
– Bustos 25, Santos 24, Swails 49

Bustos 187 (33.2%) (actual result: 32.5%)
Santos  107 (19%) (actual result: 21.7%)
Swails 269 (47.8%) (actual result: 45.5%) 


(sorted by results gathered)
Linda Page (199)
John Burn (183)
Elton K. Carrier (156)
Ted Summerford (143)
Chris Nickels (132)
Craig Rhyne (130)
Howard Chalmers (122)
David Kent (122)
George A. Freeman (118)
Tom Reilly (107)
Phyllis Sheffer (107)
Steve Brock (83)
Ben Bryson (76)
Henry A. Middleton (61)
Roxanne Riccio (60)
Kenny Oubre (44)
Paiam Etminan (31)
Douglas Miller (18)
Russell Read (6)

* 1898 responses received on 593 exit poll surveys

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