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Capitolbeat and AAPOR webinar on polling

July 19, 2010

What: Capitolbeat and AAPOR polling webinar
July 29, 2010 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT
Anyone who wants help sorting through the vast array of polls and poll results.
Sign up:

Capitolbeat members:

The fall general election campaigns are quickly approaching and anyone covering races for offices from the U.S. Senate on down to legislative seats knows they’re about to get hit with a bunch of poll results and analysis. But do all those numbers really mean anything and should you pass them along to your readers and viewers?

Capitolbeat in conjunction with The American Association for Public Opinion Research is offering a webinar July 29 to help answer your polling questions. Special thanks to the Pew Center on the States for making the webinar platform available.

The proliferation of public polls have made more numbers available but vastly increased the variety of ways in which polls are conducted. It is more important than ever for journalists to identify the strengths and weaknesses of polls, to understand how to interpret results and to know what questions to ask pollsters about transparency and integrity.

In this presentation by polling experts from the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Capitolbeat members will learn how to tell which poll results are reliable enough to report on. They’ll learn the differences between polls conducted by machines and those conducted by human interviewers; what qualifies as a random sample and what that means; how to weed out biased or cherry-picked results; and how to describe polling results in a way that is both accurate and easy to understand.

Speakers will include:

Cliff Zukin, Professor at Rutgers University and Senior Fellow at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, former AAPOR president

Mike Mokrzycki, independent research consultant and former polling director at The Associated Press.

Ryan Rusak, State Government and Politics Editor at the Dallas Morning News and a Capitolbeat board member, will moderate.

To prepare for the call, participants are encouraged to look over AAPOR’s suggested list of questions for reporters writing about polls beforehand. The list can be found at:

To sign up for the webinar, simply go to this link:

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