FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2008
Contact: Dale Leibach or Mike Tetuan
Prism Public Affairs
AAPOR NAMES COMMITTEE TO STUDY PRE-ELECTION POLLING
Panel to Assess Results of Presidential Primary Polls
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) today named a special panel of leading academic and business experts on public opinion research to help shed light on pre-election polling results in the New Hampshire presidential primary.
The eleven-member AAPOR Special Committee on 2008 Presidential Primary Polling will review the New Hampshire pre-election polls. It is also examining subsequent 2008 pre-election polls to see if they help explain what occurred in New Hampshire.
“New Hampshire pre-election polls did not accurately reflect the outcome of the Democratic Party race, raising questions about the accuracy and reliability of pre-election polls,” said Nancy Mathiowetz, President of AAPOR. “We are taking steps to examine what occurred, provide a timely report of our findings, and promote future research on pre-election primary polls. What we learn from this review will help us to continue to improve our methodology and ensure continued accuracy.”
Michael W. Traugott, Professor of Communication Studies and Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, will serve as the panel’s chair. Traugott is a past president of AAPOR and the current President of the World Association of Public Opinion Research. The committee plans to issue its report in April 2008.
“There are a lot of different explanations floating around about what happened with the polls, but the committee will look at the available data to see which ideas have more merit than others,” said Traugott. “Pre-election polling has a long history of accuracy. This committee's work will help to make sure that it continues to remain accurate and reliable.”
AAPOR is the premier professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the United States. According to its mission statement, the panel’s goals are 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 controversy because of the difference between pre-election survey results and the outcome of the Democratic race.
As part of its examination, the committee will review pre-election polling conducted for all primaries, including all of the Feb. 5 Super Tuesday primaries.
The committee has tentatively scheduled a Spring 2008 public forum on the topic of polling in the 2008 primaries. It will be hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation at its Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C., on a date to be announced later.
The members of the committee are: