Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
The Collaborative International Dictionary
exit poll \ex"it poll`\ a survey poll taken by interviewing voters as they leave (exit) the polling place, to determine how they voted and for what reasons; -- it is usually taken by news media to learn at an early time (often before the balloting has finished) who the winners are, and sometimes the reasons for the voters' choices. [PJC] ||
n. A poll taken of a sample of voters as they leave a voting station; used to predict the outcome of an election.
n. a poll of voters as they leave the voting place; usually taken by news media in order to predict the outcome of an election
An election exit poll is a poll of voters taken immediately after they have exited the polling stations. Unlike an opinion poll, which asks for whom the voter plans to vote, or some similar formulation, an exit poll asks for whom the voter actually voted. A similar poll conducted before actual voters have voted is called an entrance poll. Pollsters – usually private companies working for newspapers or broadcasters – conduct exit polls to gain an early indication as to how an election has turned out, as in many elections the actual result may take hours or even days to count.
Marcel van Dam, Dutch sociologist and former politician, is credited with having invented the exit poll, and being the first to implement an exit poll during the Dutch legislative elections on February 15, 1967.
Usage examples of "exit poll".
When made aware of exit poll results through the media, voters often wouldn’.
By blocking exit poll information, the government had hoped to keep people voting all day and thereby avoid skewing the outcome.
The usual chaos swirled around me -- phones braying, people scurrying about, the televisions singing exit poll data over the din -- but it all had a forced artificial quality.