05/21/2007 10:53 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011 Wins AAPOR's Mitofsky Innovator Award

I have the pleasure of sharing some very good news: On
Saturday night, Charles Franklin and I had the very high honor of being named winners
of 2007 Warren J. Mitofsky Innovator's Award by the American
Association for Public Opinion Research
(AAPOR) for our work on

The award, first presented eight years ago, recognizes
accomplishments in public opinion and survey research that occurred or had
their impact during the last decade. This year, AAPOR renamed the award to
honor late Warren J. Mitofsky, the great survey innovator who, as several
speakers noted, would probably have won this award many times had it existed
earlier in his career. Past winners
include some of the most distinguished individuals in the field including Andrew
Kohut (for the Pew
Research Center)
and Professor Robert Groves (for his leadership in establishing survey research
as an academic discipline). The fact that AAPOR chose to grant this award to a "Weblog"
says something very humbling about our efforts as well as the growing influence
of the blogosphere. It is a huge honor.

This year, we were co-winners along with Arthur Lupia and Diana
Mutz for their work on the project known as TESS (Time-Sharing Experiments for
the Social Sciences).

Professor Franklin and I want to express our gratitude to Doug
Rivers (a previous winner of this award) and his company Polimetrix for their continuing
financial and technical support, to the many AAPOR members who provide advice
and respond to our queries about their work and to our assistant Eric
Dienstfrey who does much of the real work that makes possible. And
finally, we thank you, our readers, for your continuing support and confidence.

The full text of the award citation appears after the jump.

The American Association for Public Opinion Research Presents the 2007 WARREN J. MITOFSKY INNOVATORS AWARD To MARK BLUMENTHAL and CHARLES FRANKLIN For POLLSTER.COM

Modern day public opinion
polling in the United States has come a long way from the early Gallup, Roper,
and Crossley in-person surveys of the 1930s to the proliferation of polls
conducted by telephone beginning in the 1970s, through today's movement toward
increasing use of the Internet. The vast numbers of surveys today include not only
those conducted by public pollsters in the above tradition but also by mass
media organizations, academic survey centers, interest groups, political
parties and consultants, and others. This expansion of polls and the reporting
of them has resulted in an overload of often confusing information about public
opinion during a time in which partisan conflict has grown and led to highly
contentious and increasingly strident debates about what policies the public
supports and which political candidates members of the electorate prefer as
elections near-and, in the case of the recent controversies about exit
polls-after they have voted. is a Weblog that
has provided an extraordinarily well-informed and critical forum for
understanding contemporary public opinion research and poll results.'s
reach has extended beyond the survey research community to inform and educate
in an accessible way those who visit and communicate with its website. Originally
known as, provides commentary on survey
methodology and the interpretation and reporting of survey findings. It has
extended existing, and developed its own, graphical methods for comparing poll
results and for summarizing multiple polls and opinion trends. Its reports and
commentaries provide transparency, as the data dictate, for multiple and
conflicting interpretations.

With funding and technical
support from Polimetrix,, provides a non-partisan source for the
latest polling results, for state-of-the-art information about survey
methodology, and for the latest debates and conflicts in the world of polling. AAPOR
salutes Blumenthal and Franklin for this innovation in the fields of public
opinion and survey research.
Presented at the 62nd Annual Conference

Anaheim, California

May 2007

Typo corrected