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NEWS9 July 2010

Pollster.com editor ‘no fan’ of HuffPost’s past anti-poll crusades

M&A North America

US— The Huffington Post (HuffPost) may have twice run campaigns to make America a “poll-free” country, but that doesn’t make it a bad new owner for Pollster.com, says editor Mark Blumenthal.

Blumenthal (pictured) said he had “never been a fan” of the HuffPost’s crusades, led by founder Arianna Huffington in 2003 and 2008, to encourage Americans to hang up on pollsters, but in a blog post he sought to reassure readers of his polling analysis site that they had nothing to fear from this week’s acquisition.

“Arianna Huffington has given her unqualified support to our longstanding mission to ‘aggregate polls, point out the limitations of them and demand more transparency’,” he said. “She has also given us the editorial independence to disagree if we deem it appropriate, as I did in the previous paragraph.”

Blumenthal also asked Huffington to address the concerns of her own readers who had supported her anti-polling campaigns.

In an email response published by Blumenthal, she said: “I’ve been a longtime critic of the accuracy of polls and how they’re misused by the media, which continue to treat poll results as if Moses just brought them down from the mountaintop. That’s why we launched the ‘Say No to Pollsters’ campaign on HuffPost. And it’s why I wanted to work with Mark and Pollster.

Huffington said: “Since it’s clear that polls and polling are not going to go away – indeed, if anything, the media have only gotten more addicted to political coverage dominated by polling – we need to make sure that polls are as accurate as possible and that they are put in the proper larger context.”

Blumenthal also revealed that even with the sale, Pollster.com resulted in a net loss for its former owners YouGov Polimetrix. Financial terms of the HuffPost takeover remain undisclosed.

@RESEARCH LIVE

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