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Ad Hoc Committee Releases Mission Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               Contact: Dale Leibach or Mike Tetuan

January 25, 2008                                                                     Prism Public Affairs



WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nation’s premier professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals will be studying pre-election polls in South Carolina, Florida and the Super Tuesday primaries in an effort to help shed light on the New Hampshire primary pre-election polling results, it said today.

The announcement came as the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) released its mission statement for the ad hoc committee it is establishing to study the polling methodology used in New Hampshire primary. The committee’s statement said it seeks to “aid the public, journalists and pollsters in understanding the scientific, technical and ‘real world’ factors involved” in the New Hampshire polls, which have stirred considerable controversy because of the difference between pre-election survey results and the outcome of the Democratic race.

“There are a lot of theories about what occurred in New Hampshire,” said AAPOR President Nancy Mathiowetz. “What our organization is doing is going back, looking at the data and arriving at a considered review of the factual, scientific information. An understanding of these issues is essential as we move forward in this election year and in future years.”

As part of its examination, the committee will be reviewing pre-election polling conducted for tomorrow’s South Carolina Democratic Party primary, as well as Tuesday’s Florida primaries and all Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries.

The committee’s mission statement said it will “investigate, examine and report upon the New Hampshire primary pre-election polls,” will request and archive for future research the data related to 2008 primaries and “evaluate how polls have been and can be optimally used in the reporting of the 2008 primaries.”

The ad hoc committee has tentatively scheduled a Spring, 2008, public forum on the topic of polling in the 2008 primaries to be hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation at its Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C., with a specific date to be announced later, and has
tentatively scheduled a release of a report on primary pre-election polls in early April, 2008.

The AAPOR is the premier professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, government, the non-profit sector and private industry. The ad hoc committee’s full mission statement can be viewed here.

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