MPR and Humphrey Institute to review polling methodology


Here’s the release:

Minnesota Public Radio News and The Humphrey Institute to Review Polling Methodology

(St. Paul, Minn.) November 11, 2010—Minnesota Public Radio and the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs announced today that they will undertake a thorough review of the methodology used in polls conducted during the 2010 election season. The process will include an internal review of the poll by the Humphrey Institute and an independent audit that will be made public. The independent audit will be conducted by Frank Newport, the editor and chief of Gallup.

MPR and the Humphrey Institute partnered this year to conduct four polls leading up to Election Day. The final poll, based on interviewing begun nearly two weeks before Election Day, showed results significantly different from the final election tally. This issue will be examined along with the raw data from other polls to determine whether there is a methodological reason for the difference, or whether external events account for the difference.

“We are committed to a transparent review of our polling methodology because we value the importance of continuous improvement in our efforts,” said Professor Larry Jacobs, director of the Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Government. “If a shortcoming is identified, we will fix it. If not, we will have third-party verification that our methods are sound.”

“The review of polling methodology is a necessary step in continuing to provide Minnesotans with the unbiased information they need to make informed decisions,” said Chris Worthington, MPR’s managing director of News.

Dean Brian Atwood of the Humphrey Institute added, “I welcome the opportunity to conduct this self analysis and peer review, a regular process for any academic institution. Professor Jacobs is an internationally recognized expert in this field. He is a professional who looks critically at his own work, as well as at polls conducted by others. We are committed to maintaining a very high standard.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 11/11/2010 - 08:31 pm.

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  2. Submitted by Fritz Dahmus on 11/16/2010 - 04:52 pm.

    Their polls are accurate, they just forget to factor in 5 points worth of DFL bias each time. I use RealClearPolitics, they use the average of selected major polls. They had Dayton by 5%, +/- 3 points….and used, among others of course, MPR and the StarTrib poll…I believe.

Leave a Reply