It’s that time again …


If you read these editorials regularly, you know more about me than you want or need. Something you probably don’t know about me, though, is that I absolutely hate politics. This makes it hard for my dear husband, who is a political news junkie, when he is banished to his office to watch one of his favorite TV hosts, Nicole Wallace.

The political season(s) bring on another of my least favorite things — polls. All it takes to cue my eye-roll is the phrase, “According to the _____ poll.”

Polling is something that confounds me. First, it’s been years since I was polled by telephone — probably because I rarely pick up calls when I don’t recognize the number. I don’t think my attitudes toward unwanted/unknown calls are that different from most Americans, so I have a difficult time understanding who is in those poll numbers we see every election period. Exit polls I understand, except that I’m an avid mail-in voter.

It was for these reasons and more that I was excited to have Gretchen A. Peck write our cover story about polling. Her story demystified polls, the process and the rationale and brought me to an understanding of the need for polls.

Of course, politics and elections aren’t the only reasons for polls to exist. Pollsters can ask questions about anything from your view on abortion to your thoughts on telecommuting. As Tim Malloy, a poll analyst with Quinnipiac University and one of Gretchen’s sources, said, “We’re the vehicle by which people get to tell us what they think about the issues. … We’re the conduit of the voices of the people.” Sound familiar?

So, I tried to set aside my overt bias against polling (because of its tie in my mind to politics) and see the value these hard-working analysts bring to us. Hopefully, you'll gain some insight that will enrich and inform your reporting.

Oh, and the cover? Well, when you read our story, you’ll see that most of the reporting is about pre-election polling. But another item on your list of “too many things I know about Robin Blinder” is that Steve Kornacki is the only election-night celebrity (and he is a celebrity) I enjoy. He's kind of like a marathoner without the spandex. I love anyone and anything that simplifies concepts for me, and Kornacki does that in spades. Unfortunately, he was not available to talk to E&P for this story. Next time, Steve …

Robin Blinder is E&P's editor-in-chief. She has been with E&P for four years. She can be reached at robin@editorandpublisher.com.


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