How to read exit polls
To illustrate how exit poll results should be read, let's use the following hypothetical results as an illustration.
Vote by Gender
The first column of numbers shows how many people who voted today fell into each category. In our example, that means 43 percent of all voters were men and 57 percent were women. All other figures show how each category voted. The numbers should be read across (which is why you may occasionally hear them referred to as "horizontal results"). In the example, that means that 46 percent of all men voted for Smith and 53 percent of all men voted for Jones. Looking at the next line, Smith won 50 percent of the women's vote to 48 percent for Jones.
Also you may notice some categories such as "Vote by Income" and "Vote by Age" appear more than once. In those cases, the data has been rolled up differently. While the data may vary among the tables, all of the tables are correct. For instance, "Vote by Income" might show up three times, with different breakdowns: less or more than $50,000; less or more than $100,000; and less than $50,000, $50,000-$100,000 and more than $100,000.
• All times Eastern Daylight Time.
• CNN will broadcast a projected winner only after an extensive review of data from a number of sources. Details about CNN's projection process
• Poll closing times by state and time zone.
• "Party Change" denotes a race where the 2010 projected winner is from a different party than the previous incumbent.
• Not all candidates and ballot measures are listed.
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• Vote totals compiled by The Associated Press. Candidate profiles provided by Project Vote Smart. Fundraising data provided by OpenSecrets.org and FollowTheMoney.org.
• Alaska Senate results listed for Murkowski include write-in votes for her and any other write-in candidates.