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Coulter's Pollster Rant

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Although we try hard to promptly report polling related new items,
we missed a good one yesterday. Conservative commentator Ann Coulter dropped
another one of her bon mots during a
Fox News broadcast, this one aimed at the pollsters at Newsweek. On his show At Large on Monday, host Geraldo Rivera asked
Coulter for a reaction to Newsweek poll
results showing Barack Obama leading the various Republican contenders. As reported
by News
(via colleagues on the AAPOR list serv):

"I think this is Newsweek doing more
push polling for Al Qaeda," Coulter told Geraldo Rivera. Rivera responded
"You don't think they're making it up?" to which Coulter answered

She went on to say that in polls "where
Republicans are actually allowed to vote," they "do a lot better."
thus suggesting that Newsweek did not call any Republicans.

News Hounds also linked to a YouTube video clip:

Not surprisingly, reaction from the pollsters was swift. Rob
Daves, president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), released the following statement

"Ann Coulter's
kill-the-messenger assessment of the Newsweek poll exceeds the bounds of
professional reporting and commentary," said AAPOR president Robert P.
Daves, director of polling and strategic research at the Star Tribune.
"It's pure-and-simple mudslinging on her part to question the ethics of a
reputable polling firm and news organization that abides by a longstanding Code
of Professional Ethics and Practices. Anyone who values solid public opinion
research and intelligent public discourse should be outraged and ignore
Coulter's irresponsible and groundless assertion that the results were

[Interests disclosed: I serve as a member of AAPOR's executive

And finally, Evans Witt, the chief executive officer of
Princeton Survey Research, the survey firm that conducts the Newsweek poll, had
this comment for reported by the Associated
[that was originally posted to the AAPOR member-only listserv):

"As the 2008 election campaign
continues to heat up, I am sure that there will be informed and incisive
criticisms of polls from many observers," he said. Coulter's comments
"do not fit into this category," he added.

When it comes to Ms. Coulter's various lunatic
, I tend to agree with those say
that "she, like any bully, will go away if you ignore her." On the other hand, read
over some of the comments left on this site over the last few days and you will
see that some people will believe anything. So for those tempted to confuse the
valid skepticism expressed by reputable
about the reporting of Newsweek poll
with Coulter's rant, let's restate what should be obvious: Coulter's remarks about
the Newsweek poll are unfounded and preposterous.