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The Herald's horrible pollster puff piece

Today's Herald homage to Suffolk U. pollster David Paleologos is a bit of a debacle. Here's why:

1. Reporter Marie Szaniszlo claims Palelogos "has proven more accurate than larger pollsters." Her second piece of evidence: Paleologos putting Barack Obama ahead by five points in the New Hampshire Democratic primary race. That would be reasonable if, as the Herald claims, Obama won by three. But Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire. (Blue Mass. Group noted this error earlier today.)

2. Just before the New Hampshire Republican primary, Palelogos had Mitt Romney in the lead. Other pollsters had John McCain leading. McCain won.

3. In the Massachusetts Democratic primary, Paleologos put Obama ahead by 2 percentage points. Everyone else had Clinton in the lead. Clinton won in a landslide.

4. Paleologos had Obama winning California. He wasn't the only one who got it wrong. But he still got it wrong.

5. In her lede, Szaniszlo sets up a David-and-Goliath narrative, with "polling giant Zogby" showing Clinton and Obama tied just before Ohio's Democratic primary and "a small polling center based at Suffolk University" putting Clinton ahead 52-40. Clinton won by ten points. Good for Paleologos, but good for a few other pollsters, too, all of whom go unmentioned.

Maybe this misguided attempt to praise Paleologos had nothing to do with former Herald business editor Greg Gatlin's recent appointment as Suffolk University's director of public affairs. But it sure reads like it did.

UPDATE: Gatlin hasn't yet started at Suffolk; he begins next week.

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