Robopolls

ROBOPOLLS….Carl Bialik at the Wall Street Journal writes about automated polling today. The best known robo-pollster, SurveyUSA, has a track record as good or better than any traditional polling outfit, but apparently founder Jay Leve still can’t get any respect:

After conducting such polls for 16 years, he still finds himself defending them. That’s because, by policy, the national news divisions of CBS, NBC and ABC won’t air results from automated polls, even as many of their local affiliates sponsor and air SurveyUSA polls.

The Associated Press, the New York Times and the political publication the Hotline also exclude them.

This. Is. Nuts. If national publications insist on reporting only their own poll results, that’s one thing. It’s a stupid, antediluvian practice, but at least it makes a rough kind of sense. But if they’re willing to refer to other polls at all, there’s no excuse for excluding robopolls, many of which have a remarkable record of accuracy. Why oh why can’t we have a better press corps?

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation