The business of public opinion polling assumes that by getting the opinions and preferences of some 1,500 to 2,500 citizens, pollsters can report accurately on the opinions and preferences of our 94-million people, or 48 million voters.
But “there are no perfect surveys. Every survey has its imperfections. The world is not ideally suited to our work,”
says Reuben Cohen, former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR). Thus not even the best pollsters dare to claim that opinion polling is a science.
Given its limitations, every poll survey must be done with extreme care. This is the duty of every pollster, and it is our right – the nation’s right – to demand the highest professional and ethical standards from the polling firms.
Sad to say, these standards have not been observed at all in the recent surveys.