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American Association for Public Opinion Research

AAPOR Statement on Trump/Pence Campaign Web Survey

February 23, 2017

A recent Web survey from the Trump/Pence campaign (Mainstream Media Accountability Survey) has been circulated that asks for donations at the conclusion of the survey. The practice of fundraising under the guise of a survey (frugging) is neither new nor unique to a single candidate or political party. It is strongly condemned by AAPOR, together with the Research Industry Coalition and the National Council on Public Polls (Condemned Survey Practices), along with other practices such as “push-polling” that attempt to change rather than measure people’s opinions. In addition, AAPOR’s Code of Ethics states that: “We will not misrepresent our research or conduct other activities (such as sales, fundraising, or political campaigning) under the guise of conducting research.”
The AAPOR Standards Committee has reviewed such Standards complaints in the past, through a formal review process, and has also sent letters explaining AAPOR’s Code of Ethics and requesting that such practices should be desisted. Currently, the AAPOR Standards Committee is actively reviewing its processes and investigating more effective methods to dissuade practices such as fundraising under the guise of a survey, soliciting input from past Standards Committee chairs and contacting organizations that can facilitate new actions. An update will be coming.
John Loft, Standards Chair
Andy Peytchev, Associate Standards Chair