AAPOR Announces Ad Hoc Committee to Evaluate New Hampshire Primary Polls

Washington, DC – January 14, 2008 -- 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.  
Although the impetus for the ad hoc committee  was the failure of the New Hampshire pre-election polls to accurately reflect the outcome of the Democratic race for one candidate, the committee could examine other elections throughout the primary season.

AAPOR will sponsor a public forum on the topic of the New Hampshire Primary hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation at its Barbara Jordan Conference Center.

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry.