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AAPOR Announces Evaluation of NH Polls

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My colleagues at AAPOR have just put out this release:

In the wake of the New Hampshire pre-election polls, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) today announced the formation of an ad hoc committee to evaluate pre-election primary poll methodology and the sponsorship of a public forum on the issue.

"Pre-election polls have a long-running record of being remarkably accurate," said AAPOR President Nancy Mathiowetz. "Sixty years ago the public opinion profession faced a crisis related to the poll predictions of the Truman-Dewey race. The way survey researchers reacted then – with a quick, public effort to identify the causes – played a key role in restoring public confidence and improving research methodology."

The work of the ad hoc committee will be twofold: (1) To review and assist in the dissemination of the evaluations currently being conducted by the individual polling organizations who were engaged in polling prior to the New Hampshire primary; and (2) to request and archive the data related to the New Hampshire primary for future scholarly research.

As has become obvious over the last few weeks, we have no shortage of theories of what happened in New Hampshire. What we lack, and what AAPOR is stepping forward to provide, is an effort to collect, archive and evaluate the relevant data and make it available through a public forum. Hopefully, this effort -- like the one in 1948 -- will provide that function.

Interests disclosed: I serve on AAPOR's Executive Council.