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Carsey Fellow Presents First "Dubious Polling" Awards

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
February 4, 2009

The major media polls that portrayed Rudolph Giuliani as the early frontrunner for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination received the top spot in the first annual Top Ten Dubious Polling Awards, released last week on

The awards, created by veteran pollster David W. Moore, a senior fellow at UNH’s Carsey Institute, and University of Cincinnati political science professor George F. Bishop, look back on the busy polling season of 2008 and call attention to the scientific validity and utility of polls.

“Every year, poll watchers are confronted with poll results and commentary that defy either logic or science,” says Moore, a former vice president of the Gallup Organization and author of “The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls” (Beacon, 2008). “When pollsters focus on what they believe is entertaining and appealing to the audience rather than an accurate reflection of public opinion, they manipulate public opinion.”

Moore and Bishop gave their top award – a designation of five crossed fingers, or the polling equivalent of a “Hail Mary” pass – to all the major media polls for their prediction of Giuliani as the early Republican frontrunner. They condemn the pollsters for portraying Giuliani as the frontrunner “relentlessly, and without regard for any semblance of political reality.”

The complete list of awards is available on www.stinkyjournalism.org, a site that advocates for more rigorous and scientific journalistic methodology.

The Carsey Institute conducts policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development, giving policy makers and practitioners the timely, independent resources they need to effect change in their communities.


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