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AAPOR 2008: Chase Harrison

Topics: AAPOR

One more in series of brief interviews conducted at this week's AAPOR Conference, this one with Chase Harrison, preceptor in survey research at Harvard University. Harrison describes his analysis of the accuracy of pre-election polls during the 2008 primaries.

 

Comments
richard pollara:

So maybe its time to get a life... After a late Friday night I am up Saturday morning listening to Mark's reports from New Orleans. My girlfriend comes out of the bedroom and asks who am I talking to and I tell her to be quiet, I want to hear what Chase Harrison has to say. Regardless of the outcome of the election Pollster.com has definitely been "the best seat in the house." Thanks for running a great site!

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kingsbridge77:

This is very important stuff. Pollster.com should archive these video interviews on a special link that can be easily accessed in the future, for reference.

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Professor M:

Just because I'm feeling a bit nitpicky today:

Mark and Chase fall into a conversational shorthand here that is a bit unfortunate -- Mark asks whether polls with likely voter models were "more accurate," and Chase agrees that they were "more accurate."

However, we have no way of knowing for sure whether or not the polls were "accurate" reflections of public opinion at the time they were taken. What Mark and Chase should have said is that the polls with likely voter models were more predictive of the primary results.

It certainly may be the case that polls without likely voter models were, in fact, more accurate estimates of the preferences of the entire electorate than the polls using likely voter models. But, as we know, not everyone in the electorate votes.

Professor M

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