Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on much of New Jersey the week before the 2012 campaign drew to a close, and the biennial Election Day exit polls were nearly a casualty of the disaster.
Mark Blumenthal of Pollster reported on Wednesday that the organization in charge of conducting the exit polls is based in an area of New Jersey heavily affected by Sandy, and its operations were nearly jeopardized by the devastating storm:
What made the exit polls especially challenging this year is that Edison Research, the company that conducts the exit polls on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP) consortium of the five television networks and the Associated Press, is in Somerville, N.J. It was directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy, and nearly knocked out of business by the storm at a critical moment in its preparations.
But Edison was able to anticipate the incoming storm and made the necessary preparations to avoid an outright cancellation of the exit polls:
With the forecast showing Sandy heading toward the mid-Atlantic states, Edison founder and executive vice president Joe Lenski rushed printing the paper questionnaires whose content had been finalized on Oct. 26. By the following day, they were able to print and ship about two- thirds of the questionnaires ahead of schedule.