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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Annual Polling Meeting: Video Interview Clips

For those interested in the role of the pollster in developing political strategy, Mark Blumenthal of Pollster.com has some video clip interviews from the annual gathering of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), the world’s largest association of polling professionals. The first of three installments has four video clips. For a good overview, scroll down and start with his interview of the conference Chair Michael Link, Chief Methodologist/VP for Methodological Research at The Nielsen Company, who describes some of the hot buzz topics being discussed at the meeting.
Blumenthal also provides two clips with one of the most experienced living pollsters, Lou Harris, who describes his work with JFK and how JFK responded to polling (He was amazed when Harris accurately predicted the exact percentage of his 1958 U.S. Senate re-election win, 71 percent of the vote). Harris, the first presidential pollster who “served on a super-straegy committee,” also discusses his concerns about the polling profession and the moral responsibility of pollsters, among other topics.
Blumenthal interviews Temple University Proff Christopher Wlezien about the comparative accuracy of polls and political prediction markets. He also links to a new paper by Wlezien and Robert Erikson “Markets vs. Polls as Predictors: An Historical Assessment of US Presidential Elections,” presented at the meeting. (hint: don’t bet the ranch on markets just yet).

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