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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

AAPOR committee to probe New Hampshire polling fiasco

Association to pull together analyses of why pre-election polls missed the mark

US-- The American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has formed an ad hoc committee to examine the reasons why pre-election polls in the New Hampshire Democratic primary failed to reflect the final outcome.

Individual polling organisations have been busy reviewing their own numbers since the vote last Tuesday, which was won by Hillary Clinton – although virtually all surveys conducted before election day had predicted a win for Barack Obama.

AAPOR said its committee would review and assist in distributing these analyses to a wider audience, while collating and archiving the data for “future scholarly research”.

Association president Nancy Mathiowetz said: “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.”

Pollsters have been roundly criticised in the press for their ‘failure' to predict Clinton's comeback, after being trounced by Obama in the Iowa vote. However, analysis to date suggests the surveys were caught out by a late surge in support for Clinton, following an emotional speech the day before the election.

Author: Brian Tarran

Related links:

Pollsters ponder Clinton's New Hampshire surprise

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