Political scientist named to national public opinion organization

Author: Arts and Letters


University of Notre Dame political scientist Darren Davis has been appointed to an ad hoc committee of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) to evaluate the New Hampshire primary polls.

Polling taken the day before the New Hampshire primary indicated a 10-point lead for Sen. Barack Obama that turned into a 3-point deficit once results were tabulated.

The AAPOR is the leading professional organization of public opinion and survey research professionals in the U.S., with members from academia, media, government, the non-profit sector and private industry.

Drawing from the experience of the 1948 Committee on Analysis of Pre-election Polls and Forecasts, which incorrectly predicted the Truman-Dewey race, the AAPOR’s ad hoc committee will evaluate the methodology of the pre-election primary polls and the way results are reported by the media and used to characterize the contests in pre-election press coverage. The committee will archive the data related to the 2008 primaries for future scholarly research and will evaluate how polls have been and can be optimally used in reporting.

The committee also will review pre-election polls in the South Carolina and February 5 “Super Tuesday” primaries, which will provide additional evidence that may inform theories concerning the New Hampshire polls.

A nationally recognized expert in public opinion, Davis specializes in political psychology, political behavior, public opinion, research methods and racial politics.

Media advisory: A video of Professor Davis discussing the accuracy of presidential polling can be viewed at http://youtube.com/user/NDdotEDU":http://youtube.com/user/NDdotEDU.

Contact: Darren Davis, 574-631-5654 (office), 517-282-1192 (cell) or Darren.Davis@nd.edu .

Originally published by Susan Guibert at newsinfo.nd.edu on January 30, 2008.