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Reply #41: Suggested letter to Mitofsky [View All]

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dargondogon Donating Member (78 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-04 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
41. Suggested letter to Mitofsky
December 7, 2004

Mr. Warren Mitofsky
Mitofsky International
1776 Broadway
Suite 1708
New York, NY 10019

Dear Mr. Mitofsky:

As a highly respected, innovative and conscientious pollster, youve led the world in developing exit polling techniques and enhancing democracy by seeking the voice of the public.

You, more than I, certainly, and more than most anyone else on earth, understand the value of accountability in polling. You understand the fragility of public trust in polling, the temptations of apathy and the cynicism of critics who dismiss the value of polling.

Thats why I appeal to you to release the raw data from the Nov. 2 exit polling: to encourage you to trust the science youve developed.

Polling is more than collecting data: It's a science that requires its practitioners to allow others to attempt to replicate their work.

Of course we cannot replicate an election and its exit polls. But your calibrations of your data should be made available for replication. Without that crucial final step of releasing data for replication, your work is not relevant, not scientific and not reputable.

I urge you to abide by the polling standards promulgated by the American Association for Public Opinion Research by publicly:

-- Discussing possible sources of error.
-- Describing any special scoring, editing, data adjustment or indexing procedures (or calibration) used.
-- Describing your sample design.
-- Describing your sample selection procedure.
-- Delivering a full accounting of the final outcome of all "sample cases."
-- Describing how non respondents differ from respondents.

The data no longer have proprietary value to your subscribers. Election Night is long over, they hired you to help them promptly report results. Now it's time to make a transition to public service, Mr. Mitofsky.

mitofsky@mindspring.com
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