Pro-toll Coalition Refuses to Release Poll Questions

On Wednesday, February 25, 2015 the Pro-toll coalition, Build Our Bridge Now, released a poll on the Brent Spence Bridge. The coalition refused to release the full phrasing of the questions and the order in which they were asked.

 Background on polling best practices

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) is quite clear about best practices for polling, the order of the questions asked, and the requirement for full disclosure. According to AAPOR, "the manner in which questions are asked, as well as the specific response categories provided, can greatly affect the results of a survey. Concepts should be clearly defined and questions unambiguously phrased. Question wording should be carefully examined for special sensitivity or bias."
AAPOR specifically recommends full disclosure:
"Good professional practice imposes an obligation upon all survey and public opinion researchers to include, in any report of research results, or to make available when that report is released, certain minimal essential information about how the research was conducted to ensure that consumers of survey results have an adequate basis for judging the reliability and validity of the results reported.
With respect to the disclosure of question wording and order the AAPOR recommends the release of the following:
"...the questionnaire and/or the exact, full wording of all questions asked, including any visual exhibits and the text of any preceding instruction or explanation to the interviewer or respondents that might reasonably be expected to affect the response"
"The standards for polling are quite clear. The questions should be disclosed. Always," said Marisa McNee of Northern Kentucky United. "If this poll is legitimate, they will release the exact phrasing of the questions and the order in which they were asked. Refusal to do so should call into question the results of the poll."

 

 


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