2011 Exit Polling Recap

Tuesday, November 8 was a special Learning Outside the Classroom day at University School of the Lowcountry.  We conducted exit polling for the Mt. Pleasant Town Council and the Charleston Mayoral race.  We chose eight precincts across Mt. Pleasant in order to have a representative sample of the Town as a whole, and we polled eight precincts in the City of Charleston.  Our goal was to garner approximately 100 completed exit polls at each site (approximately 800 for Mt. Pleasant and 800 for Charleston).  Turnout was light, and after 90 minutes at each location we returned to USL with what we had to compile the surveys and make informed predictions about the races.

USL students with Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails. 

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.

USL students with Mount Pleasant Town Council candidate Chris Nickels. 

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.

Exit Poll Results for the Town of Mount Pleasant
Thomasena Stokes-Marshall 151 (17.7%)
Chris O’Neal 115 (13.5%)
Nick Collins 114 (13.3%)
Ken Glasson 110 (12.9%)
Chris Nickels 103 (12.1%)
Joe Bustos 101 (11.8%)
Mark Smith 98 (11.5%)
George A. Freeman 46 (5.4%)
W. Tate Mikell 16 (1.9%)

Sources of Exit Polling Data for this Race 

* Results were gathered from up to 100 completed exit polls at the following eight locations (up to 800 total):
Mt. Pleasant Municipal Complex – Mt. Pleasant 2, 4, 5
Whitesides – Mt. Pleasant 10, 11, 12
National Guard Armory – Mt. Pleasant 15, 16
Mt. Pleasant Waterworks – Mt. Pleasant 20, 21
Christ Church Episcopal – Mt. Pleasant 22, 23, 24
Jones Recreation Center – Mt. Pleasant 26, 28, 29
Greater Goodwill AME – Mt. Pleasant 31, 32, 34
Wando High School – Mt. Pleasant 38, 39

Exit Poll Results for the City of Charleston’s Mayoral Race
Joe Riley 252 (82%)
William Dudley Gregorie 45 (14%)
David A. Farrow 10 (3%)
Craig Jelks 1
Joshua R. Kennedy 1


USL students with Charleston Mayoral candidate Craig Jelks.


Sources of Exit Polling Data for this Race 

* Results were gathered from up to 100 completed exit polls at the following eight locations (up to 800 total):

Mason Prep School – Charleston 3, 5
Sanders-Clyde Elementary – Charleston 8, 9, 15
St. Andrew’s Elementary – St. Andrew’s 1, 2, 4, 5
Charleston County Masonic Center – St. Andrew’s 11, 12, 13, 21
West Ashley Middle School – St. Andrew’s 22, 23, 24, 25, 30
James Island Charter High – James Island 5A, 5B, 6, 7, 10
Stiles Point Elementary – James Island 11, 12, 13
Daniel Island Elementary – Daniel Island 1, 2 (Berkeley County)

Leave a Comment