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John Gorman

Topics: Fox News , John Gorman , Pollsters

Ben Smith has just reported that Pollster John Gorman, the CEO and founder of Opinion Dynamics Corporation, has passed away.

Since regular readers may know Gorman's through the polls his company conducts for Fox News, they may be surprised to learn that he was the co-founder, along with Patrick Cadell of Cambridge Survey, the company that polled for President Jimmy Carter and many other Democrats.

Smith quotes a reader who says of Gorman, "He was the smartest pollster I ever knew. I learned something every single time I spoke to him. He will be sorely missed." You will hear a lot of that over the next few days.

My former business partner David Petts, who worked for Cadell and Cambridge in the early 1980s, relays these thoughts:

Gorman's ability to excel in commercial and academic circles was extraordinary. In addition to having many successful and appreciative clients, he co-authored one of the single most important articles ever published on voters' decision making in presidential elections.

Lawrence Shiman, who worked for Gorman at Opinion Dynamics and considers him a mentor, shares this reaction:

He combined statistical rigor with common sense to a rare degree in his approach to survey research. What was also rare in the polling industry was his humility - he never had to be the face of any organization, and was perfectly willing to give those who worked for him the limelight even when John deserved it most...He will be missed.

Indeed.

 

Comments
Dotty Lynch:

John was my colleague at Cambridge Survey Research from 1972-1979 and we remained friends ever since. He became known as the brains behind CSR but he was also the heart. He taught me more than anyone about polling and about business. John was as generous and he was brilliant. His passion for politics and history and his deep commitment to his clients are legendary. But, it was his wry humor, great intellect and gentle kindness that made spending time with John such treat. We have lost a true superstar.

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Daron Shaw:

I have worked with John on the decision team at Fox News since 2002 and have come to admire him as one of the true giants of the polling industry. His ability to cut through the inessential and identify what people really think was unparalleled. But, as several have already noted, his humility and generosity truly set him apart. He shared freely of himself and his experience, and touched those around him deeply. We are all sad today, but take solace in having had the pleasure of his company.

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Carol Raulston:

I was a client of John Gorman's for many years. He was endlessly patient and, like many others, most of what I know about survey research, I learned from John.

What I remember most, however, was John's wry sense of humor, coupled with his denials that, "I wasn't trying to be funny," or "I don't have a sense of humor." All false. He was a good and gentle person and will be missed.

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Ricardo Aponte, Esq.:

In recent years John Gorman did polling work for a non profiut organziation I do work with. He was certainly a man of great insight and extremely professional. For a man of his expertise and caliber, he was very humble and always willing to inform and educate those of us not familiar with the difficult work pollsters do. I feel honored in having known him and will miss him as well. His firm of Opinion Dynamics is composed of a great team of very competent people and I am confident will live on through their work.

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Cam Kerry:

I knew John Gorman since the early days of setting up Cambridge Survey Research in a dorm room at Harvard, and since as his classmate and occasional client. John was immune to Pat Caddell's soaring flights of fancy -- he always brought the discussion back to the data. He was an empiricist through and through, which made him practical and occasionally cynical, but always straightforward.

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Mark McGrath:

John was a dear friend and probably the smartest person I have ever met. I had the pleasure of knowing him personally and professionally and I cherish the memories. He taught me a lot about life and about business and was extraordinarily generous to me, my friends, and issues and causes important to me. We miss him and he was truly one of a kind.

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Jim Wurzer:

I grew up with John. We attended the same elementary and high school. He always was first in grades and intellect. My foundest memories of him were discussing politics at his house. I learned a lot from him. I am honored to have spent time with him and to have been his friend.

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