While Nate Silver got a lot of attention for predicting the election through poll aggregation and statistics, Public Policy Polling nailed every state through first-hand polling... The firm conducted about 255 polls this election season — including 19 polls in the final four days. It went 50 for 50, and its 50-47 popular vote prediction is coming closer to fruition as all the ballots are tallied. Last week, PPP was rated the election's most accurate pollster. "It feels great," PPP director Tom Jensen told Business Insider. "It vindicates that we are making the right assumptions about the electorate." They didn't do it without receiving their fair share of criticism — because, like Silver, they did not try to hide the fact that they were openly rooting for President Barack Obama to be re-elected.The Hill - Study finds PPP was the most accurate pollster in 2012:
A study conducted overnight found liberal-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling was the most accurate predictor of the 2012 presidential election... The analysis by Costas Panagopoulos, Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University, also found that none of the 28 major polling outlets he analyzed showed bias toward either candidate in the national polls. “For all the derision directed toward pre-election polling, the final poll estimates were not far off from the actual nationwide vote shares for the two candidates,” he wrote.NPR - North Carolina Polling Firm Spotlighted During Primaries:
Just a few years ago, not many people outside North Carolina knew of a small start-up called Public Policy Polling. It was founded by a Democratic businessman with no political experience. These days, PPP is one of the most prolific polling companies in the country, along with Gallup and Rasmussen. From North Carolina Public Radio, Jessica Jones has the story of a political start-up turned success story...Criticism of PPP's "push poll" questions:
JONES: Debnam is a soft-spoken, jeans-clad entrepreneur who runs two other successful companies. He started PPP after he got tired of seeing local Republican polls he didn't think were accurate.
DEBNAM: I decided that the highest and best use of my time was to invest in something that made Democrats more competitive in races. And one of the things to do was to make polling more affordable.
JONES: Traditional pollsters like Gallup still use real people to call prospective voters, but that's expensive. So Debnam set aside company phone lines for automated calls. PPP's polls cost as little as $1,500 for clients who range from local school board candidates to big Democratic interest groups...
JONES: Jensen enjoys putting together wacky polls too, including a survey last year asking independent voters whether they'd support Sarah Palin or Charlie Sheen for president. Charlie Sheen won. But PPP hasn't neglected its original client base of Tar Heel Democrats. Alan Norman won his first election as a rural sheriff two years ago. He says Tom Jensen's polls helped him identify crucial voters.
ALAN NORMAN: He said, you know, here's your weak area and here's where you need to go. And he gave us the numbers. He said you need to zero in and work harder on 65 and older, retired individuals, such as my parents.
JONES: Norman says, by following PPP's advice, he won the public office he'd always coveted. And Public Policy Polling got what it wanted too: another Democrat in public office.
...every state has its not-so-admirable biases. And asking Republicans in these particular states—and evidently only these states—about these particular issues smacks not so much of political research as cultural profiling.
I was polled on Sunday by PPP about politics in NC and, for the last question, they asked "Who was more responsible for killing Osama bin Laden, Obama or Romney?" I was just flummoxed. I couldn't figure out what it was doing in a poll of standard questions on whom I was going to vote for or if I approved or disapproved of certain politicians. Well, now it's clear what the purpose of the goofy question was - to generate stats so they could make fun of Republicans. Well, I'll confess - I answered "not sure." That wasn't because I wasn't sure but it was my way of registering how ticked off the question made me. As I tell my students, one problem that we can't account for in polling is that people lied. So I lied. Now my answer is part of a Comedy Central gag.
Whit Ayres of the conservative Resurgent Republic (who also polls for National Public Radio) was taken aback as well. He said, “Particularly for liberals it is a very leading question.” He said, “Suppose a pollster asked, ‘Do you think the conservative media want voters to think Obama is anti-Semitic?’ People would come out of the frame.” Pollsters acknowledged that putting hot-button questions at the end at least did not taint the favorable/unfavorable result. But none of the pollsters I spoke with would have asked the question or thought it was appropriate. As one said, “It goes pretty far over the edge.”
« Older In 2006, aspiring inventor Marc Griffin appeared o... | 1111111111111111111111111111... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments