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U Pollsters Eye Changes To Pre-Election Sampling

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Two University of Minnesota professors recommend several steps with their future political polling to avoid a repeat of a poll in Minnesota governor’s race that came under criticism.

The final pre-election poll by Minnesota Public Radio and the university’s Humphrey Institute gave Democrat Mark Dayton a 12-point lead over Republican Tom Emmer. But Dayton ended up winning with under half of 1 percentage point.

Professors Lawrence Jacobs and Joanne Miller say in an internal review that the last pre-election poll should be taken closer to the election, include the results of other polls, ask participants questions that build a rapport before asking about candidate preference, weight better by geographic region and include cell phone users.

The review stresses that all political polls are a “snapshot in time” and not intended to predict the results of an election.

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