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Top 10 Winners of the Dubious Polling Awards

dubious polling awards

The group iMedia Ethics put out the following report on their annual award ceremony:

The Republican and Democratic parties take the top prize from iMediaEthics’ eighth annual Top 10 Dubious Polling Awards.

iMediaEthics’ polling director David Moore assembles the tongue-in-cheek awards each year to “honor” the previous year’s most questionable actions in media polling.

The Republicans and Democrats share the “Giving the Store Away” Award for allowing the media to apply arbitrary polling standards for candidates to qualify for debates. Besides being arbitrary and unwise, early polls are not good indicators of eventual voter support. They measure mostly just name recognition, which is not an intelligent way to elect the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.

Nonetheless, the two parties allowed television producers to exclude some candidates from the so-called “main stage” on the basis of polls that at this stage are close to useless in predicting actual voter support.

Other “winners” in the Dubious Polling Awards include CNN, which took home “The Left Hand Doesn’t Know What the Right Hand Is Doing” Award for reporting that Hillary Clinton’s ratings were both unaffected AND harmed by her email controversy; and Pew Research and Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which shared the “Impossible Dream” Award for its poll reporting that 100% of Lebanon residents had the same opinion on ISIS.

David W. Moore is a Senior Fellow with the School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire and a former Gallup vice president and senior editor. He analyzes and fact checks polls, always calling for the media to abide by best polling practices. In 2015, Moore won Editor and Publisher’s EPPY award for Best News/Political Blog for a website with under 1 million unique monthly visitors.

Moore recently co-authored with the University of New Hampshire’s Andrew E. Smith a book on the significance of the New Hampshire primary in the U.S. presidential nomination process, The First Primary: New Hampshire’s Outsize Role in Presidential Nominations .

His work can be found in iMediaEthics’ Polling Center. Read the awards in their entirety at


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