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American Association for Public Opinion Research

Chapter Spotlight: NEAAPOR

by Andrew Smith, 2020-21 NEAAPOR President; Jennifer Necci Dineen, 2020-21 NEAAPOR Past President; Brian ‎Shaffner, 2020-21 PAPOR Vice President
NEAAPOR has been working to expand our membership in the New England states, particularly by attracting students interested in public opinion with academic and social activities. We also have been working to attract members from the business community.
Student Paper competition: NEAAPOR was proud to sponsor an Inaugural Student Paper competition in late 2019 as a way to encourage students in the region to advance their studies in public opinion research. The selection committee chose “Worthy-Immigrant Narratives: Ingroup Framing and Party Identification in Shaping Attitudes towards Immigration,” by Victoria Asbury of Harvard University, which she presented at the 2020 conference. Because the AAPOR conference was virtual in 2020, an award of $500 was presented in lieu of covering her costs of attending the conference.
In 2021, NEAAPOR selected two student paper winners: “Impact of Popular Vote Margins on Accepting 2020 Presidential Election Results,” by Brendan Hartnett and Alexandra Haver of Tufts University, and “Combatting Partisanship in Measures of Issue Salience: A Novel Approach,” by Lucas Pyle and Ryan M. Shaffer, also of Tufts University. Both papers will be presented at the 2021 AAPOR conference.  Because the conference will again be virtual in 2021, an award of $125 was presented to each author as well as $99 to cover the expenses of registering for the conference.
Chapter Activities: COVID-19 put a damper on in-person activities, so NEAAPOR members missed our traditional winter mixer at the Meadhall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We are looking forward to meeting again face to face in 2022!
We were also unable to hold live chapter events and instead went to Zoom. Instead of hosting roundtable events, NEAAPOR sponsored two webinars this fall focused on the 2020 election. The first, held October 19, featured G. Elliott Morris, data journalist for the Economist, who discussed the election forecast modeling conducted by the Economist. More than 100 people joined this fascinating look into how models are constructed and reported to the public. Brian Schaffner and Tufts University hosted the webinar. You can view a recording of the webinar here.
More than 50 people attended our second webinar, a post-election recap, on November 16. Pollsters from each of the New England states discussed interesting elections and polling in their states and nationwide. The panel included Rich Clark from Castleton University, Jennifer Necci Dineen from the University of Connecticut, Spencer Kimball from Emerson College, Dan Shea from Colby College, Andy Smith from the University of New Hampshire, and Paul Testa from Brown University.  Tracy Keirns and the University of New Hampshire hosted the webinar.

Over the upcoming summer, NEAAPOR will co-host three Social Data Analytic Workshops with the University of Connecticut. The topics are “Survey Analysis with R” presented by Dr. Thomas Craemer, Professor at UConn Department of Public Policy; “An Introduction to Data Visualization” presented by Jake Soffronoff, Survey Statistician & Methodologist, USPS OIG and YouGov; and Web-based Data Extraction Methods” presented by Christopher Brechlin, senior program and data analyst on the planning, research, and evaluation team at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. The first 15 NEAAPOR members who register attend for free, and additional members can attend for $30.  Nonmembers can attend these workshops for $50. For more information, contact Jennifer Necci Dineen at the University of Connecticut.

NEAAPOR is always looking expand and diversify its membership and Executive Council as well. We will continue to work with colleges, universities, government, private, nonprofit and other organizations to accomplish this goal. For more information reach out to NEAAPOR President Andrew Smith.