NEWS24 September 2009

AAPOR calls out Strategic Vision over poll disclosure

North America

US— The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has found pollster Strategic Vision in violation of its Code of Professional Ethics and Practices for failing to provide sufficient information about presidential primary polls conducted in New Hampshire and Wisconsin in 2008.

The investigation was part of a wider inquiry into why the results of pre-election surveys failed to predict the actual outcomes. In New Hampshire, for instance, the majority of polls had pointed to a win for then-presidential hopeful Barack Obama in the Democratic primary, but when official results were counted he was beaten by rival Hillary Clinton.

AAPOR said it tried “for more than one year” to obtain information from Strategic Vision, including details of survey sponsors and descriptions of the underlying sample frame and response rates but did not receive a reply.

The association then filed a complaint against the agency alleging a violation of the Code of Professional Ethics and Practices, after which it received “partial but incomplete information” from the firm’s CEO, David Johnson.

AAPOR said the reply still did not provide information about response rates, weighting or estimating procedures and the association’s executive council therefore found the firm in violation of its code.

Stephen Blumberg, chair of AAPOR’s Standards Committee, said: “In no way did the investigation address the quality of the work by Strategic Vision, the accuracy of the polls or the integrity of the company. AAPOR’s single goal when enforcing its code is to maintain the public’s confidence in public opinion research. Confidence is strengthened when researchers disclose aspects of their work that may have a direct bearing on the data produced and the interpretation of the results.”

Click here for Strategic Vision CEO David Johnson’s response.