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Re: New Hampshire Investigation Continues

Topics: 2008 , David Moore , Push "Polls" , The 2008 Race

An update on yesterday's post on the ongoing investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General into a message testing survey allegedly conducted by Moore Information. The article I linked to asserted that Moore had "decided to cooperate" with the investigation and "agreed to turn over business records" in connection with the case. I inferred that this might mean disclosure of the identity of their client, but either the article or my inference (or both) were incorrect.

Bob Moore, president of the firm, left a comment this morning on my previous post challenging the facts of the AHN story:

The story is not accurate. Moore Information has not agreed to appear as a witness or provide documents. The subpoena was issued over our objections reserving our rights to further challenge the subpoena.

Moore Information also emailed a statement indicating that while they have provided "cooperation," they continue to challenge the applicability of the New Hampshire "push polling" law to their work:

Since this was not a push poll and since relevant statutes do not apply to the Presidential Primary Election, we believe it is appropriate to maintain the confidentiality of our client, a usual practice among opinion research firms.

See the full text of the statement after the jump.

Moore Information

January 16, 2008

In response to the baseless allegations made in today’s proceedings regarding the New Hampshire Presidential Primary public opinion survey, Moore Information has retained a top New Hampshire attorney to represent us on this issue.

"It is unfair and disturbing that the New Hampshire Attorney General's office is more interested in playing politics than in objectively reviewing the merits of the case," said Moore Information attorney Terrence Kay. "Even after receiving cooperation from Moore Information, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has held press conferences, improperly disclosed confidential information (which were improperly obtained), mischaracterized legitimate survey research, ignored the simple legal facts that should have resolved this issue because New Hampshire law does not apply to Presidential primaries," he said.

In the November 2007 survey in question, we polled 400 New Hampshire GOP Presidential Primary Election voters asking 46 questions on a variety of issues about GOP Presidential candidates. The questions included standard demographic questions at the conclusion of the survey. No Democrats were interviewed in the survey.

A public opinion survey among a representative sample of 400 Republican primary voters using 46 questions is not a push poll. The whole point of a push poll is to reach thousands of voters. When you also consider that New Hampshire has no statutes governing Presidential primary polling, it is clear that there is no merit whatsoever to the current inquiries. Since this was not a push poll and since relevant statutes do not apply to the Presidential Primary Election, we believe it is appropriate to maintain the confidentiality of our client, a usual practice among opinion research firms.

All of the information we tested in the survey was in the public domain, either in media articles, on Internet blogs or in other campaign-related communications. Our assignment in the survey was to determine how widespread the information was and what impact it could have on public opinion. Some of the questions apparently made some of our respondents uncomfortable, but asking direct questions about controversial information is sometimes part of an opinion research company's job.

The objective of public opinion research is to explore the public's awareness, perceptions, attitudes and reactions to information in the public arena. Part of this research can sometimes involve asking controversial questions in order to determine the public's awareness, knowledge and reaction to the information.

American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has good definitional information on what is push polling and what isn't push polling. More is found at the following link: http://aapor.org/aaporstatementonpushpolls

Moore Information is a public opinion research company, specializing in campaigns and public affairs, using standard sample sizes and methodologies, and in accordance with standard industry practices and contractual agreements for confidentiality.

 

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