THE BLOG

AAPOR2010 Interviews Wrap-Up

05/17/2010 02:18 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Mark Blumenthal Mark Blumenthal is the Head of Election Polling at SurveyMonkey.

I'm back in DC and just filed a column that should appear on NationalJournal.com later this afternoon about the Transparency Initiative announced over the weekend at the conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Kristen also tells me she's preparing a post on her experiences as a first-time conference attendee. So while this post will not truly "wrap-up" our coverage of the AAPOR conference, I do want to provide a collection of links to all of the interviews we conducted this past weekend at this year's conference (with some final thoughts below):

Gary Langer and Matthew Warshaw on the difficulties of polling in Afghanistan.


  • Doug Rivers on the statistical properties of phone and internet polls.


  • Peter Woolley on measuring support for independents and third party candidates.


  • Jeff Jones on predicting House margin from generic ballot polls.


  • Peter Miller on AAPOR's transparency initiative.


  • David Rothschild on forecasting election outcomes based on voter expectations.


  • Robert Erikson on individual level stability and change in presidential elections from 1952 to 2008.


  • George Bishop on interpreting polling on Arizona's immigration law.


  • Jennifer Agiesta on how media pollsters are handling the 2010 elections.


  • Chris Wilson and Bryon Allen on how persuasion and turnout impact election outcomes.


  • Jocelyn Kiley on Hispanic representation on public opinion surveys.

    A few things to remember about AAPOR's annual conference (largely cribbed from my comments last year): First, our interviews barely scratch the surface of the breadth and depth of subjects covered at the conference and the findings presented. We tend to focus on topics related to pre-election polling, but the conference covers a much wider array of methodological issues that are often highly technical and not easily distilled into a quick video interview.

    Second, remember also that many of the findings presented at the conference -- including some that made their way into our interviews -- are very preliminary. The quality of the "papers" presented at the AAPOR varies widely (and I put that word in quotations because most are just Powerpoint presentations). Only a handful will eventually appear in academic journals, and those that do are at the beginning of a long peer review process that may ultimately lead their authors to different conclusions.

    Finally, some words of thanks: First, thanks to all of those we interviewed for making themselves available. Second, to all of the folks at AAPOR for their logistical support. Third, to Lisa Mathias at the Winston Group for creating the animation that appears at the beginning of each video. Finally, last but definitely not leas, a huge personal thank you to the Winston Group's Kristen Soltis for sharing the interviewing duties. I got considerably more sleep this weekend than I would have otherwise, and our interviews are made that much better by having a newcomer's perspective. Thank you Kristen and thank you all!